Egypt’s exports to G7 states surge 8.8 pct in Jan-June 2019- CAPMAS

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CAPMAS - File photo

CAIRO, Aug 24 (MENA) – Egypt’s exports to the G7 countries increased 8.8 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2019 to $3.8 billion, compared to $3.5 billion in the same period a year earlier, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said in a statement Saturday.

The US topped the list of G7 importers of Egypt’s products with imports estimated at $1 billion in January-June 2019, followed by Italy and the UK with imports totaling $951.7 million and $719.1 million in the same period, it added.

The statement pointed out that Egyptian imports from the G7 countries saw a 2-percent increase, recording $8.7 billion in the first six months of 2019, up from $8.5 billion during the same period last year.

The US also came first in the list of G7 exporters to Egypt in the first half of 2019, with exports hitting $2.7 billion, followed by Germany and Italy with exports estimated at $2.1 billion and $1.5 billion respectively.


Source : Egypt Today

Nile water committee reviews trilateral negotiations on Ethiopia’s GERD

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Cars crisscross through the inner city of Cairo Egypt, alongside the Nile River during the day. Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa as well as one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Cairo is the center of the regioCars crisscross through the inner city of Cairo Egypt, alongside the Nile River during the day. Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa as well as one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Cairo is the center of the region

CAIRO – 21 August 2019: The Supreme Committee for Nile Water (SCNW) convened Wednesday under Prime Minster Moustafa Madbouli.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Ati, as well as a host relevant experts, representatives of the state ministries concerned, the General Intelligence Service (GIS) and the Administrative Control Authority (ACA).

The committee discussed several phases on the lengthy trilateral negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which yielded no agreement, Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad said.

The futile negotiations prompted the Egyptian side to put forward a technical proposal which takes into account Ethiopia’s energy needs without detriment to Egyptian water interests.

The committee asserted the need to wrap up the negotiations as schedule, especially after a six-party meeting among the foreign and water and irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia has been delayed from August 29-30 to September 25-26 upon the latter’s request, the spokesman noted.

The ministers will seek an agreement on GERD filling and operation rules.

Source : Egypt Today

Keeping up with the 21st Century

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Globalization - CC via Pixabay/The Digital Artist

CAIRO – 17 August 2019: “The world is heading into the fourth industrial revolution. No one can predict how the future will look like, including the leaders of such revolution. That revolution may include biological development, genetic alterations, robot domination, and further exploration of the human brain.” With those words, African affairs researcher and C3 trainer with German development agency GIZ Rasha Hegazy started explaining to Business Today Egypt the C4 Skills, which are part of 21st Century Skills.

What are those skills? 

“The C4 stems from the concept of how an individual can lead themselves, and how to deal with arising challenges. Sometimes, we can feel that difference between us and westerners even if we are better educated. The reason is that they learn how to manage their emotions and relationships,” Hegazy says.

The first country that started working on developing the C4, which had evolved from C3, is the United States in 1990. However, the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were the first to work on the C4 systematically in order to help youth fulfill the needs of the 21st century. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) was established by members of the U.S. business community, education leaders, and policymakers, including Apple, Microsoft, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Innovation – CC via Pixabay/Tero Vesalainen

It is an organization that promotes – among mainly students and youth – life and career skills, learning and innovation skills, including the C4: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity. The 21st Century Skills involves the C4 of learning and innovation, as well as other skills under the umbrellas of digital literacy and career and life.

“The 21st Century Skills is not taught like a curriculum. If given a high-tech device, an illiterate farmer would resist using it and perhaps think it would be a substitution for him. Those skills teach accepting technology advancement and means to deal with it. They are concerned with managing the relation between the individual and the machine, and the individual and others. Those skills will be common among people worldwide, and will be essential for teaching and learning,” Hegazy elaborates.

Credit: PXhere

The C4 is intertwined with globalization, global awareness, knowledge economy, social partnership, technology, environment, math, science, geography, history, and culture. In developed countries, those skills are included in employee training, teaching methods at schools, and psychological support services, she adds.

“The 21st Century Skills is skills of learning and education possessed by an individual who is fully ready to deal with life and different work environments that are becoming increasingly harder in the 21st century. The outcome is self-learning, effective contribution, and confidence,” Hegazy says.

“Eastern people are warmer when dealing with people. However, they do not know how to benefit from that gift. We are not able to create a work system that takes such a quality into consideration,” Hegazy regrets.


Hegazy has suggestions on how to promote C4 among different social segments in Egypt. “My idea is that women can acquire those skills through mobile apps even if they are illiterate. The skills can be added to entrepreneurship training targeting women. That is because the C4 will make them more aware of what they need,” she recommends.

“The C4 is learnt through very simple exercises. However, they give clear vision of life. There has been a greater emphasis on self-learning because the pace of science and technology development has been rapidly accelerating,” Hegazy explains.


“Egypt is very important to the world in the realm of high tech since almost all the international submarine communications cables pass through Egypt. That creates an opportunity for Egypt to host the hubs of global companies operating in the telecommunication sector. However, many of those abstain from establishing major subsidiaries in Egypt because they do not find enough employees who have the necessary C4 skills,” Hegazy believes.

“Many of those companies have conducted studies and realized that the best place to establish those hubs is in Egypt, rather than India. Indians have good English, and are quite acquainted with the C4. That is what I found working with them. Some Indian families even build businesses pertinent to app development and IT.

The number of mobile phone subscriptions in Egypt reached 91.32 million users in the year to January. (Photo: Reuters)

“In Egypt, openness to the world is missing among most social classes. It is confined to the upper and upper middle classes. The C4 is not just about soft skills that enable you to deal with people efficiently. The C4 are also concerned with leading oneself, they can enable an uneducated woman to develop her talents by using the internet to find material she can learn from. The promotion of C4 skills may not cost anything but the fees of the internet service. If we talk about the role of the civil society, it can play a role in that regard very easily,” Hegazy points out.

The Egyptian educational system is rather behind in terms of the 21st Century Skills, but some officials try to integrate some of the basic skills in certain projects, even if indirectly. The major initiative of the Ministry of Education that provided thousands of tablets to school students on which they had their exams can be considered an attempt to spread media literacy. Many scholarships by the Ministry of Communications, through its affiliate, the Information Technology Institute (ITI), involve what is still known as “soft skills,” even if the subjects are technical.


Hegazy also believes Egypt can play a role in further introducing C4 in the continent. ITI has developed South-to-South projects aimed at empowering workers in the ICT sector with a focus on “application of ICT training to concepts, ideas and innovation that contribute to the improvement of the quality of life,” as indicated on ITI website. Those projects are embodied in direct capacity building programs targeting both individuals and institutions, and establishment of centers of excellence. ITI has executed projects in Burundi, Uganda, Djibouti, Eretria, and Sudan.

“Speaking of Africa, the rate of employability [the possession of the necessary skills to work] is just 14 percent, falling from 33 percent. That is not just attributed to the lack of education, but also because of the inability to absorb new ideas. The drop is due to the increasing gap between the needs of the labor market and the available skills,” Hegazy says.

African women
U.S. officials stand with female entrepreneurs from African Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) during joint opening session of the 2015 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. [State Department Photo]

Africans have a great advantage. That is they do not discriminate against women. The highest percentage of working women exists in Africa. It is 63 percent against 21 percent in the Middle East, and 40 percent in Western countries,” Hegazy says.

The first industrial revolution depended on energy and steam machines. It was centralized in the West and was not meant to be transferred to the then colonized Africa.. The second was about mass production forces in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The third brought the central computer and then the personal computer and the web in the nineties of last century.

Tech Mother Board Computer – CC via Pixabay/LaurelRusswurm

The fourth revolution is built upon the third, but it is wider, deeper, and more important. The devices have become intertwined and intelligent in a sensory, biological and digital context that can change the lives of people, companies and governments. Egypt has the chance to be the main promoter of C4 skills in Africa, which has become a main target market globally.

The fifth-generation cellular network technology was piloted at Cairo Stadium during the opening of the African Cup of Nations on June 21, and the World Radio Conference that will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh in October is set to outline the standards and frequencies of 5G in the Middle East and North Africa.

The 5G is expected to be a main component of the fourth revolution, with speed and reliability that will make broadband accessibility everywhere and as fast as lightening. South Korea was the first to deploy 5G at a fairly wide scale in April 2019 and rolling deployments across the world are awaited within 2019-2020. Egypt may be at the forefront of African nations to deploy the transformative technology, but without the 21st Century Skills needed for the fourth revolution, Egyptians may struggle to catch up.


Egypt Today

Into Egypt’s Black Treasure

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FILE - Black Sand

CAIRO – 13 August 2019: As it flows from the great rivers region through to the Mediterranean Sea, The Nile River sweeps some minerals to the Arab world, in a process transferring these minerals to sea beaches and forming black dunes.

Named after its color, black sand contains a percentage of essential minerals: ilmenite, zircon, magnetite, rutile, garnet, as well as monazite, which contains radioactive minerals. Of significant economic importance, Black sand is also beneficial for the environment.

In Egypt, black sand is available on the coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from Rasheed to Rafah with a length of 400 km. It is spread by sea currents and waves in those areas and present in the sand dunes.


The importance of black sand was first discovered at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, proved by a feasibility study of the sand and how to best utilize it, conducted by the international Australian Office.

According to the latest aerial survey carried out by the Nuclear Materials Authority, Egypt has 11 sites of black sand along the northern coast. Studies and researches have revealed that the geological reserve of those sands on the Egyptian coast reaches about 1.3 billion cubic meters, including Rasheed area, with re- serves of 600 million cubic meters, Damietta area with a reserve of 300 million cubic meters, and Arish Rafah area with 200 million cubic meters.

Mineral reserves in Egyptian black sands are estimated at 285 million tons, containing an average capacity of 3.4 percent of heavy metals with a distance of about 22 km, in the western sec- tor which lies east of El-Burrulus. There are also proven mineral reserves in the eastern sector, worth about 48 million tons containing an average capacity of 2.1 percent of heavy metals, as well as the future supply of black sand.
The black sand in these areas contains eight types of heavy metals, ranging in composition between 1 percent and 8 percent.

The latest feasibility study by Roche Company argues that the economic return from merely one of the 11 sites will lead to over LE 255 million annually. Exploitation of these minerals provides Egypt with millions of dollars, which would be spent on importing only one of these metals, such as zinc, one of the key elements in Egypt’s famous ceramic industry, in addition to other metals, including iron, granite, monazite and titanium metal utilized in the manufacture of bodies of aircraft, submarines and rail bars.

Map of northern part of Egypt showing the black sand deposits (dotted coastal strip) and the study sites location in Abu Khashaba and Baltim – photo courtesy of ResearchGate

Black sand contains elements and minerals, such as almnjanet; radioactive elements; and titanium metal, which is extracted from high-quality alalimat and rutile, then used in the manufacture of paints and coatings, plastics and rubber, ceramics, cosmetics, leather, pharmaceuticals. It also contains metal zircon, which is used in the manufacture of ceramics, glass hearts, nuclear reactors and car motors, in addition to metal granite used in the manufacture of water filters and paints. Also, almajnti ore is used in the manufacture of sponge iron and cast iron.

According to an official source, Rashid has the largest reserves of black sand, with 500 mil- lion cubic meters, pointing out that the Egyptian sand deposits represent the largest reserves in the world, as they spread along areas on the Mediterranean coast.

Former media advisor of the Egyptian President Ahmed El Meslmani previously said in a TV interview that Egypt and Saudi Arabia are major Arab countries with black sands, adding that Egypt has the largest reserves in the world of minerals found in black sand, estimated at more than one billion cubic meters. Meslmani explained that black sand contains about 41 very expensive metals used in many industries, such as the rocket industry, aircraft industry, ceramics, paints and nuclear radiation materials.

Endeavoring to combat theft scenes, the Egyptian Parliament approved in January a draft law authorizing cooperation between the Ministry of Electricity and specialized local bodies to benefit from Egypt’s black sand and extract a number of economic minerals, considering it a solid investment in renewable energy.

The draft law, sent by the cabinet and approved by the parliament, allows cooperation between the ministry, the Cairo-based Nuclear Materials Authority and the Egyptian Black Sand Company (EBSC).

Moreover, the Armed Forces have signed a contract with the Egyptian Black Sand Company in May 2018 to start a project separating economic minerals from black sand in Egypt. The latter is working to achieve maximum profitability in the extraction of heavy minerals with a strategy to streamline the export of raw materials and the rationalization of import products, both inter- mediate and final, and to highlight the added value of mineral ores.


In July, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker inaugurated the first phase of a black sand mining project at Rasheed Beach, to become the first production line of black sand.

Head of the Egyptian Nuclear Materials Authority Hamed Mira stated that the first phase consists of three units for extraction and concentration, in addition to two magnetic sepa- ration units with an annual output capacity of 31,000 tons.

The Rashid Beach area is the second region in Egypt where the extraction process has taken place, after the coast of Baltim in Kafr el-Sheikh.

“The Nuclear Materials Authority, the Kafr El-Sheikh governorate and several major companies are cooperating to invest in Egyptian minerals,” former Consultant to the Governor of Kafr el-Sheikh for Development and In- vestment Khaled Dosoky tells Business Today Egypt.

“Minerals in the sand are raw metals that have little economic value, so they will be extracted and build an extra elements from them to hit three or four times the price of raw minerals,” Desoky clarifies.

The economic importance of black sand has been repeatedly reviewed in recent years; however, as the government has taken official steps to benefit from this treasure, the question remains as of how long it will take to adequately utilize Black Sand to develop Egypt’s industries.

Source : Egypt Today

Sisi pays tribute to young Egyptians on World Youth Day

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Sisi's speech came during a session on digitization on the second day of the seventh edition of the National Youth Conference, taking place at the New Administrative Capital

CAIRO – 12 August 2019: On the International Youth Day, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi paid tribute to the Egyptian youth on their enthusiastic roles, affirming that the state will continue its support to the youth to achieve better future for the nation.

“On the International Youth Day, I pay tribute to the enthusiastic and promising Egyptian youths who are proving day by day that they are the secret of the strength and vitality of our great nation.I affirm that the Egyptian state is determined to continue its support tothe youth and prepare them in a way that achieves a better future for our Egypt,” said President Sisi on his official Twitter.

The United Nations celebrates the international Youth Day this year under the theme of “Transforming education” to make education accessible to all young people around the globe, saying the number of young people -aged between 10 and 24- reached 1.8 billion in the world.

Egypt held the country’s first National Youth Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh with the participation of 3,000 youth, under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Ocober 2016.

Since then, six editions had been organized; it began in response to President Sisi’s call for convening a national conference for youth, which was launched during the celebration of the Egyptian youth day on January 9, 2016.

The conference aimed at bringing together prominent youth future leaders with state officials and institutions, and giving them the chance to directly debate the present and the future and exchange ideas and experience to support their ambitions.


Source : Egypt Today

Tourists flock to Dolphin House in holiday

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A large turnout of tourists of different nationalities have visited Arak and Fanous reef in the Red Sea, also known as the Dolphin House, since SaturdayA large turnout of tourists of different nationalities have visited Arak and Fanous reef in the Red Sea, also known as the Dolphin House, since Saturday

A large turnout of tourists of different nationalities have visited Arak and Fanous reef in the Red Sea, also known as the Dolphin House, since Saturday.

Head of the Red Sea Nature Reserves, Tamer Kamel, said the Environment Ministry on Saturday set a rule of maximum 300 visitors to the Dolphin House in one day, as well as a $10-fee per person, to protect the dolphins’ natural habitat. The fee is L.E. 50 for Egyptians.

The rule will be applied on the rest of the Red Sea protectorates in three months. However, sea units shorter than 17 meters in length that go to the area with divers and others to snorkel are exempt from the fee.

The Dolphin House lies in the northern islands of Hurghada, and tourists in Marsa Alam also go there. It is an area with splendid corals and plenty of dolphins, an attraction that brings many visitors everyday to dive, snorkel and watch the sea creatures up and close the glass floor of tourist boats.


Source : Egypt Today

Egypt’s agricultural exports rise to 4.6 M tons

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Egyptian vegetables - CC via Wikimedia

CAIRO – 10 August 2019: Egypt’s agricultural exports have soared up to more than 4.6 million tons, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.

Agriculture Minister Ezeddin Abu Steit received a report about the total exports from January till August 7.

The agricultural exports reached 4,620,253 tons with an increase of 651,127 tons compared to the previous year.

Citrus, potato, onion, strawberry, beans, pepper, cucumber, pomegranate, garlic, and guava topped agricultural exports.

Egypt exported 1,751,550 tons of citrus fruits, 698,704 tons of potato, and 393,113 tons of onion followed by grapes which reached 98,557 tons.