Below please find a summary of news you may have missed in the last week about Egypt, the Egypt-U.S. partnership, and other relevant issues. In this issue:
- Egyptian Armed Forces Provide Update on Operation Sinai 2018, Eliminate ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Terrorists
- President El Sisi Meets International Monetary Fund Delegation
- President El Sisi Meets World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Pololikashvili
- Preparations for Egypt’s First Sovereign Wealth Fund Underway
- Minister of Finance Amr El Garhy Stresses Continuation of Comprehensive Reforms
- Harvard Projects Egypt’s Annual Growth Rate Among World’s Highest in 2026
- Trade And Industry Minister Tarek Kabil: Presidential Directive to Expand Economically In Africa
EGYPTIAN ARMED FORCES PROVIDE UPDATE ON OPERATION SINAI 2018, ELIMINATE ‘EXTREMELY DANGEROUS’ TERRORISTS
On Thursday, 10 May, the Egyptian Armed Forces issued an update on Operation Sinai 2018. The Armed Forces announced that they had eliminated 21 terrorists and arrested 238 wanted criminals in North and Central Sinai over the past few days. The statement also noted other achievements by the Armed Forces:
- The elimination of 3 armed militants during an air strike on 4 hideouts and a four-wheel-drive vehicle that the terrorists had used.
- The elimination of 18 “extremely dangerous” militants in a raid in North and Central Sinai after exchanging fire. 5 others were arrested.
- The arrest of a wanted “extremely dangerous” militant, and the arrests of 232 other wanted criminals and suspects.
- The destruction of 391 hideouts that terrorists had used, including 3 booby-trapped houses connected to a 100-meter deep trench.
- The destruction of 15 main communication trenches with depths of 150 and 300 meters. Subsequently, a number of firearms, wireless communication devices, fuel, military uniforms, car tires, batteries, as well as a camera, drugs, and terrorist books were seized.
- The detection of 30 cars, 49 motorbikes and 2 camels, which the terrorists had used to move logistical aid in the mountainous regions in Central Sinai. The camels were loaded with a number of explosive belts, wireless communication devices, medical equipment, and solar energy panels.
- The destruction of 21 explosive devices by military engineers. The explosive devices were placed on different routes.
The statement reiterated that army and police forces will continue to uproot terrorism and achieve security and stability for the Egyptian people.
PRESIDENT EL SISI MEETS INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND DELEGATION
On Monday, 7 May, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and members of the IMF board. According to a statement released by the Office of the Presidency, President El Sisi “expressed appreciation for the fruitful partnership between the government and the IMF and the support that it has offered to Egypt’s national economic reform program.” He noted that Egypt’s economic reform program “demonstrates the state’s determination to seriously address chronic challenges from which the economy has suffered” and “seeks to significantly enhance the national economy, improve the Egyptian people’s standard of living and realize their aspirations for a modern state.” President El Sisi further underscored “the state’s commitment to implementing integrated programs for social protection and caring for the neediest segments to alleviate the burdens they are enduring” and emphasized that the state is committed to “adopting more measures to realize social development, including efforts to empower women, improve health and education services and train the youth to assume leadership posts.”
PRESIDENT EL SISI MEETS WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION SECRETARY-GENERAL POLOLIKASHVILI
On Monday, 7 May, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization. According to a statement released by the Office of the Presidency, President El Sisi “affirmed the importance Egypt attaches to the tourism sector,” and “affirmed that Egypt looks forward to enhancing cooperation with the UNWTO so as to support the tourism sector in Egypt, given its importance in realizing the sustainable development goals.” President El Sisi “stressed that Egypt has an ambitious plan to increase tourist destinations across the country including the establishment of new cities on the coasts of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and the construction of museums, notably the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is considered to be the largest museum in the world.”
PREPARATIONS FOR EGYPT’S FIRST SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND UNDERWAY
Preparations for Egypt’s first sovereign wealth fund are well underway, according to a report in Al Ahram. In April, the government announced that the EGP 200 billion fund would be established with a view to finalizing the legislation that will govern the fund within six months. According to NI Capital CEO Ashraf Ghazali, whose firm conducted the initial study to establish the fund, the new sovereign wealth will ‘focus on economic development and seek to harness government and private-sector investment as well as financing from other funds for development projects targeted by the Egypt Strategy 2030 goals.’ The fund will exclusively invest in Egypt, and be financed ‘by a combination of cash, in-kind contributions in the form of under-utilized state-owned assets such as land, buildings, factories, and companies, and properties that can be more efficiently utilized to generate better returns,’ said Ghazali.
MINISTER OF FINANCE AMR EL GARHY STRESSES CONTINUATION OF COMPREHENSIVE REFORMS
Speaking at a conference co-hosted by the Government of Egypt and the IMF, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy stated that the success of Egypt’s economic and social reforms is ‘due to the keen support of the political leadership and its emphasis on the need for honesty and frankness in addressing societal problems and challenges and its determination to the continue the implementation of the reform program.’ Minister El Garhy highlighted that one of the most important priorities of the government is to improve living standards by strengthening the social justice structures, creating more suitable job opportunities and reducing the rate of unemployment from 13% to 11% currently. Minister El Garhy also noted that the one of the most important laws and procedures that the government working on is a simplified system for accounting for small projects, tax and inclusion into the official economy, while working to develop this sector by 10 to 15%.
HARVARD PROJECTS EGYPT’S ANNUAL GROWTH RATE AMONG WORLD’S HIGHEST IN 2026
This week, Egypt Independent carried a recent report by the Harvard Center for International Development that projects that Egypt’s annual GDP growth rate will be the third-highest in the world in 2026, at 6.63%. Medhat Al Sherif, Deputy of the Economic Committee of the Parliament hailed the report’s findings in an interview with Al Haya, saying that “this report confirms the improvement of the Egyptian economy and the diversification of its resources, especially after the implementation of the economic reform measures, which led to the stability of the national currency, along with the legislative base to ensure investors opportunities in Egypt.”
TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER TAREK KABIL: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE TO EXPAND ECONOMICALLY IN AFRICA
Al Mal reported this week on comments by Trade and Industry Minister Tarik Kabil that President El Sisi has issued a directive for more economic expansion into Africa. In a press statement, Minister Kabil said that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which Egypt joined in March, will boost Egypt’s exports to the African continent by four times more than its current value of $ 4 billion. The African trade agreement was signed by 44 African leaders and the convention will be in force upon being ratified by all signatories’ national parliaments. The African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) would remove barriers to trade, like tariffs and import quotas, allowing the free flow of goods and services between its members.