Egyptian president appoints 13 new ministers in cabinet reshuffle - GulfToday

Egyptian president appoints 13 new ministers in cabinet reshuffle


President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi speaks during an event. File

President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt announced a cabinet reshuffle on Saturday to improve his administration’s performance as it faces towering economic challenges stemming largely from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The cabinet shake-up, which was approved by parliament in an emergency session, affected 13 portfolios, including health, education, culture, local development and irrigation ministries.

Also included in the reshuffle was the tourism portfolio, a key job at a time when Egypt is struggling to revive the lucrative sector decimated by years of turmoil, the pandemic and most recently the war in Europe.

Sisi said the shake-up came in consultation with Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly. It was the third cabinet shake-up since Madbouly was named prime minister June 2018.

The president said in a Facebook post that the changes aimed at "developing the governmental performance in some important files ... which contribute to protecting the state’s interests and capabilities.”

Banker Ahmed Issa took over the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry, replacing Khaled Al Anani who led Egypt's efforts in recent years to revive the tourism industry, a pillar of the economy. Such efforts included displaying ancient discoveries, opening new museums to attract international tourists.

Hani Sweilam, professor of water resources management at Germany’s RWTH Aachen University, was named as Irrigation Minister. He replaced Mohammed Abdel-Aty who oversaw years of technical negations with Ethiopia over its controversial dam on the Nile River’s main tributary.

The new ministers are expected to be sworn in by Sisi early on Sunday.

The changes, however, didn’t affect key ministries including foreign, finance, defence and the interior, which is responsible for the police force.

The decision to replace outgoing irrigation minister Mohamed Abdel-Aty comes just a day after Addis Ababa announced it had finished its third filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The Ethiopian water project damming the Nile is proceeding without agreement from downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.

The new irrigation minister is Hani Sewilam, a professor of sustainable development and water resources management at the American University in Cairo. He assumes the post amid increasing fears over water security and an impending water crisis.

The health portfolio has been filled by Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the acting minister since October. Abdel Ghaffar's former post of higher education minister will be filled by his deputy, Ayman Ashour.

Another notable appointment is Egyptian Air Force chief Mohamed Abbas Helmy, who takes on the civil aviation portfolio.


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