Friday,20 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1311, (8 - 21 September 2016)
Friday,20 October, 2017
Issue 1311, (8 - 21 September 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Digest

Compiled by Rasha Sadek

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Al-Ahram Weekly
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Ismailia Festival for Folk Arts

For four days ending today, the governorate of Ismailia has hosted the 17th round of the festival for folk arts. The event invoked the true spirit of folklore and tradition enlivened by the troupes’ vibrant colours. India, the Maldives, Algeria, Palestine and Indonesia in addition to Egypt’s Cultural Palaces’ troupes all participated. 


Rania Al-Mashat: IMF advisor

Rania Al-Mashat has been named the new advisor to the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). For 11 years, Al-Mashat was the sub-governor for monetary policy at the Central Bank of Egypt.

Al-Mashat also heads the IMF’s Research Department which is “a think tank for cutting-edge economic topics that are in line with the evolving economic challenges. In addition to conducting economic research, the [department] is responsible for projecting global growth and investigating multilateral surveillance issues,” she says.

While Egypt has applied for a $12 billion loan from the IMF, Al-Mashat sees the role of the IMF is “to assist its member countries in achieving macroeconomic stability, which is the main role of the central bank and ministry of finance in any country.”

The IMF supports this through three key channels, she points out: its surveillance role (conducted once a year); technical assistance missions on certain topics “such as tax policy, customs, open-market operations, modelling and statistics” and lending.

At a time when Egypt’s economy is facing problems on multiple fronts, Al-Mashat opines that “the difficulty of achieving financial stability lies in the lack of defined tools to achieving it. It is different from one country to another, depending on the state of the banking system, the situation of the exchange market, whether or not there was dollarisation, and the volume of non-performing loans in the local banks.”

Al-Mashat holds a PhD in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park and is the winner of the Ibn Khaldoun prize for her paper, “Monetary Policy and Public Debt Management: An Empirical Assessment of the Egyptian Experience”.


Symbiotic harmony

“Egypt’s Christian community, an estimated 10 per cent of the population, has long had a symbiotic relationship with the state. The government provided security in an increasingly hostile environment, and the Christian leadership helped present a face of tolerance and religious freedom to the West.”
Rob Nordland, The New York Times


The way out

“Selling public companies, lifting subsidies, floating the pound and not giving in to intellectual terrorism are necessary to get out of the current economic debacle. That is, of course, in addition to getting rid of the 1960s economic state of mind.
Naguib Sawiris, Al-Masry Al-Youm


A pressing question

“The army is not required to play the role of ministries providing services, or to be the distributor of a product, to monitor production or exams. Armies belong to borders. We cannot distract them or make them a substitute for other institutions. An easy solution is a painkiller. A serious solution requires a strong will to beat corruption and negligence.”
Alaa Al-Ghatrifi, Al-Masry Al-Youm

“If the interference of the Armed Forces to solve problems is a positive thing, it also exposes the government’s shortcomings... We should not depend on the Armed Forces every time we have a problem.”
Abdel-Hamid Kamal, Masr Al-Arabiya

“This is the state that built the High Dam and ran the Suez Canal and came out victorious from the 1973 War. In the meantime, empowering the Egyptian state means making stronger its civic, public and private sectors. The Armed Forces’ greatest achievement would be to leave these institutions to work independently, and to cooperate to end the current crisis.”
Mustafa Kamel Al-Sayed, Al-Shorouk


Egyptian Essence: 27% increase in public universities

“The number of Egyptian public universities has increased to 23, that is 27 per cent more than in 2010 when there were only 18 public universities.”
Baseera Centre


Facebook

“Some people believe that civil and political freedoms are a luxury we shouldn’t aspire to except after building an aware citizen and a strong economy. These people forget that without freedom you can build neither. Freedom is the tool of the people to participate and monitor progress.”
Ismail Hosny

“We demand protection on the road. A law regulating truck driving is a necessity. Truck drivers should be subjected to medical tests periodically, and heavy fines imposed.”
Reham Zeyada


Twitter

Zizi Saleh @ziziabozaid
When China invites Egypt to the G20 then Egypt is on the right track.

Bill Bishop @nubi
President of Egypt gets red carpet from main door of plane, Obama gets grey stairs from underbelly. Seriously?

Bassem Amin @Bassem261
If our country’s economy was spiralling down, would China have invited Egypt to the G20, the group of the most economically powerful countries?

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