Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1376, (11-17 January 2018)
Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Issue 1376, (11-17 January 2018)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Afwerki in Cairo

ERITREAN President Isaias Afwerki was in Cairo this week to discuss bilateral relations with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi. The two presidents also discussed the latest developments in Nile Basin countries and the Horn of Africa, as well as regional and international issues.

Al-Sisi and Afwerki last met in November 2016 in Cairo, when they agreed to form a joint committee to boost bilateral cooperation, and to continue technical assistance to Eritrea from the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD).

The EAPD, established by Al-Sisi in June 2014, aims to support African development by dispatching experts in several fields to African countries.

New development projects

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi on Monday inaugurated a number of major development projects, reports Reem Leila. The openings, which took place by video conferencing in 10 Ramadan city, involved several projects, including a social housing project in 10 Ramadan city and water desalination and treatment of waste water in New Cairo at the cost of LE70 billion. “Factories for water desalination are mainly built for the direct benefit of citizens as well as future generations,” Al-Sisi said. “The government will not allow under any conditions a water problem to occur in Egypt. We are keen to make the most out of our share of water in the River Nile.”

Additional projects were inaugurated including the Southern Fangari Bridge, as well as the housing project of Dar Misr in 6 October city. During the conference call the president pointed out the necessity of providing social housing projects with all necessary utilities before handing out units to their owners, saying the government has built more than one million housing units.

Al-Sisi also inaugurated the 40km Shubra-Banha road, as well as the bridge leading to the New Administrative Capital, the development and expansion of the Cairo-Ain Sokhna road and the Sphinx International Airport Bridge at Cairo-Alexandria desert road.

The government has been keen throughout the past three years on implementing various developmental projects to achieve the 2030 Vision which will make Egypt one of the 30 largest economies in the world, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi said. This will happen by laying the foundations of sustainable development to create a competitive economy, increase the rate of industrial growth to eight per cent and increase the share of industrial production to 21 per cent of gross national income by 2020.

During the inauguration, the president affirmed the government’s readiness to establish 4,000 factories for small- and micro-enterprises in one year, pointing out the importance of finishing the factories which will create more than 40,000 job opportunities for youth.

Balloon rides despite fatal crash

INVESTIGATIONS are ongoing following Friday’s hot air balloon crash in Luxor that left one tourist dead and 12 injured, Reem Leila reports.

The accident is being investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The balloon’s pilot has been detained for four days pending investigation. Three others working with the company which operated the balloon were arrested.

According to a statement by CAA on 5 January, there were 22 hot air balloon flights with 452 tourists onboard that day. The balloons belong to seven companies. “All air balloons landed safely on that day except for one which crash-landed,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the minister of civil aviation has formed a technical committee to investigate the incident.

Among the 20 passengers of the hot air balloon, a South African tourist died and 12 others were injured, among them the pilot as well as five Australians and four French citizens, three from South Africa, two Argentineans and one Brazilian.

To prevent similar mishaps Hani Al-Adawi, head of the CAA that oversees hot air balloon operations in Luxor, said none of the balloons take off before a three-member technical team checks the balloons and their ability to fly. The balloon’s pilot does not take off without the approval of the Meteorological Authority. “The authority usually sends a daily report on the weather and wind speed,” added Al-Adawi.

Some attributed Friday’s accident to bad weather. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had issued a statement saying weather forecasts had indicated it was safe to fly the balloons.

Al-Adawi said demand for the flights continues because tourists enjoy watching ancient temples and monuments from the air.

“Such trips are considered an extremely exciting activity for tourists visiting Luxor. During the flight tourists can see the green areas on both sides of the Nile, the temples, as well as the sunrise. It is very tempting for them,” said Al-Adawi.

In 2013 hot air balloon flights were temporarily suspended in Luxor following the death of 19 tourists after a balloon caught fire and crashed.

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