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Egypt reshuffles cabinet amid economic woes

The African nation has named an economist as finance minister, as well as business executives and former bankers to other key positions

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has overhauled his cabinet in an effort to tackle the mounting economic challenges facing the country’s 113 million people.

On Wednesday, Sisi swore in former World Bank economist Ahmed Kouchouk as finance minister, succeeding Mohamed Maait, who had held the position since 2018. Kouchouk previously served as deputy finance minister, responsible for fiscal policy.

Mostafa Madbouly, a member of the previously dissolved cabinet, took the oath of office at a ceremony in the capital, Cairo, following his reappointment as prime minister. Badr Abdelatty, Egypt’s ambassador to the European Union, has replaced Sameh Shoukry at the Foreign Ministry. Sisi named Karim Badawi as petroleum minister and Mahmoud Esmat as electricity minister, a role crucial for tackling the Arab nation’s persistent power outages. General Abdel Majeed Saqr is the defense minister.

The former minister of international cooperation, Rania al-Mashat, was reappointed as minister of planning, economic development, and international cooperation. Sherif Farouk, chairman of Egypt Post, has taken over the Supply Ministry, which oversees grain purchases in Egypt – one of the world’s largest wheat importers. Farouk will also be in charge of a food subsidy program that feeds more than 60 million people, which the government has pledged to reform.

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Sisi won a third term in the country’s December election and was sworn into office in April. He has pledged continued development amid a severe economic crisis resulting from currency devaluation and rising prices, exacerbated by Israel’s war against Hamas in neighboring Gaza.

The desert nation has sought increased investment, including from Russia, in order to address the hardships. In January, Egypt joined the BRICS economic group, along with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Iran.

President Sisi directed the new government on Wednesday to attract domestic and foreign investment and encourage private sector growth within the “framework of improving the comprehensive financial and economic performance of the state.”

July 04, 2024 at 03:07PM

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