12 August 2020 | Economics
Polls opened in Egypt yesterday for a two-day election to choose members of a newly created second chamber of parliament, with restrictive measures in place aimed at curbing a resurgence of coronavirus infections.
The council of senators will be an advisory body without legislative powers. It will include 200 publicly elected members and 100 appointed by the president.
Nearly 63 million out of a total population of more than 100 million Egyptians are eligible to vote, according to state news agency MENA. – Nampa/Reuters
Algeria to 'reassess' EU trade deal
Algeria's president has requested the country's trade minister reassess a deal with the European Union, ahead of a free trade agreement due to come into effect on September 1.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune asked Kamel Rezig to "carry out an assessment ... of the dossier of the association agreement with the European Union (EU), which must be the subject of a special attention, asserting our interests for balanced relations," according to an official statement released late Sunday.
Algeria and the EU created a free trade zone on 1 September 2005, as part of an association agreement that sets out economic, social, cultural and judicial cooperation.
Political and business leaders have heavily criticised the proposed full implementation of the free trade zone, viewing it as being largely to the detriment of Algeria.
According to Ali Bey Nasri, president of the national association of exporters, Algeria imported US$283 billion in goods from the EU between 2005 and 2017, while exports, mainly of petroleum-based products, only reached US$12 billion. – Nampa/AFP
Nile dam talks delayed for 'consultations'
Sudan on Monday said that negotiations over Ethiopia's massive and controversial dam construction on the Blue Nile have been postponed for a week.
Talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan were suspended last week after Addis Ababa insisted on linking them to renegotiating a deal on sharing the waters of the Blue Nile.
Egypt and Sudan view the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dam as a threat to vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it crucial for its electrification and development.
South Africa, which holds the presidency of the African Union and is mediating negotiations, has urged the countries to "remain involved" in the talks. – Nampa/Reuters