By Hend Kortam, Menna Zaki and Yasmin Sameh
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb vowed to impose security and confront terrorism in his first address to the nation since the swearing in of the new cabinet.
Egypt’s battle against “the forces of evil and terrorism is not only in defence of Egypt’s interests and security alone, but is also a battle we fight on behalf of the entire region,” Mehleb said.
Former housing minister Mehleb added that all legal tools and methods will be used to restore discipline on the streets, enforce the law and “preserve Egyptian blood,” with “a commitment to preserving human rights”. This was the first of seven vows the new government has taken before the people.
Mehleb has pledged to “guarantee providing a democratic political environment,” through neutrality, impartiality and commitment to the provisions of the constitution and law.
He also vowed to find means to best provide basic needs and achieve a minimum decent standard of living, given the limited resources available. He expressed his commitment to ensure the equal distribution of resources.
Mehleb called for an end to all sit-ins, protests and strikes, adding: “Let us build our country.” He said that he is fully aware of the demands and pressures of life. “Your demands will be taken very seriously,” he said, adding: “Raise your demands through your representatives so as not to stop the construction process.”
He stated: “We will work on creating a balance in our foreign relations,” attaching special attention to Arabic and African relationships.
Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was one of 31 ministers who took the oath-of-office before interim President Adly Mansour on Saturday, under Mehleb.
Mehleb’s new cabinet includes 20 of the ministers who served under former Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and 11 new faces. El-Beblawi announced his cabinet’s resignation last Monday and Mehleb was tasked with forming the new cabinet on Tuesday.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who has been in office since January 2013, and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy both dodged replacement; however, the ministries of Health, Finance, Education, Justice, and Social Solidarity, among others, will have to welcome new ministers.
Some of the new faces in the cabinet:
Minister of Health Adel Hassan Al-Adawi replaced Maha Al-Rabat. Al-Adawi had served as assistant to two other former health ministers. Since 2013, he served as the Vice President of Banha University for Graduate Studies and Research. Between 2012 and 2013 Al-Adawi was the Director of the Strategic Planning Unit at the University of Banha.
Like his predecessor, Al-Adawi studied medicine at Cairo University’s Medical School. He graduated in 1980 and moved on to Banha, the capital of Qaliubiya, where he completed his master’s and doctorate degrees and where his career boomed. Since 2001, Al-Adawi was a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Banha.
Al-Rabat’s tenure has witnessed increasing antagonism between the Doctors’ Syndicate and the Ministry of Health. In a general assembly meeting last month, the syndicate demanded her dismissal because she“deliberately humiliates doctors and stands against their rights”.
Newly appointed Justice Minister Nayer Othman replaced Adel Abdel Hameed. Othman, 74, served in various judicial positions, including counsellor at the Court of Cassation, deputy-head of the court and head of a one of the circuits inside the court. Othamn graduated from the Faculty of Law, Ain Shams University in 1963. In 1969 and 1971, he earned two diplomas from Cairo University in criminal and administrative law.
Wael El-Degwi was appointed as Minister of Higher Education, replacing Hossam Eissa. El-Degwi graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University in 1975 and served as dean of the faculty twice, in 2008 and once again in 2012 after winning elections. In between, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Canada’s University of Calgary, and since 2000, he worked as a professor at the Faculty of Engineering. He also served as assistant to Gaber Nassar, the Chairman of Cairo University.
The 2013 fall semester is arguably the most violent in the history of Egypt’s universities. Egypt’s student death toll reached four in 2013, climbing to five in 2014 after deadly clashes erupted in Cairo, Alexandria and Al-Azhar universities. Students Against the Coup, a student movement opposing the ouster of former president Morsi, reported the arrests of 230 students from Al-Azhar University alone.
Pilot Hossam Kamal replaced Abdul Aziz Fadel as Minister of Civil Aviation. Kamal was appointed as the chairman of the board of directors for the holding company of EgyptAir, the state’s national airline. He had been serving as vice chairman of the holding company since September 2009 and has served in the company for over 30 years. He has over 13,000 flight hours and experience in training.
Nahed Al-Ashry was appointed as the new Minister of Manpower, replacing Kamal Abu Eita. Al-Ashry, 58, served as deputy minister under Abu Eita, whose tenure, which started in July 2013, witnessed a number of workers’ strikes, most notably the Iron and Steel workers’ strike in December, the Spinning and Weaving workers strike in February, and the public transport workers’ strike, which began on last week. She also served in the committee of labour affairs in the ministry under Khaled Al-Azhary, who served as Minister of Manpower under ousted president Mohamed Morsi. She continued to serve in the department under Abu Eita.
Since 1982, Al-Ashry has been involved in negotiations and collective bargaining.
The former General Manager of the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation Ibrahim Younes was appointed as Minister of Military Production, occupying a post that has been vacant since former minister Reda Mahmoud Hafez died due to severe heart problems in December. The Arab Organisation for Industralisation is a military-owned company, which describes itself as one of the largest industrial organisations in Egypt. It employs 16,000 workers.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb Wednesday appointed Hany Kadry Dimian as the new minister of finance.
In 2008 Dimian served as the chairman of deputies for the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial committee. According to Reuters, Dimian was “appointed as deputy finance minister in 2007, serving under then Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali.”
Dimian had also held the position of first deputy finance minister from October 2012 to July 2013, resigning during the presidency of former president Mohamed Morsi.
Mohamed Hamed Shaker has meanwhile been appointed Egypt’s new Minister of Electricity and Energy, replacing Ahmed Imam. Shaker has served as the chairman of Shaker Group, the company currently designing the power plan of the third phase of Cairo Metro.
Shaker possesses extensive experience in the fields of project management and general management for electric power generation, and won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) award for 1985 in the field of science and technology, along with Professor E.M. Freeman of Imperial College, where he did his Ph.D.
Shaker studied Electrical Engineering at the Power and Machines Section, in Cairo University, in 1968.
Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou, who has maintained his post through the reshuffle, had previously said that he expects tourism arrivals to reach 13.5 million in 2014, and won an award in recognition of “outstanding contribution to better world understanding”, according to a January statement from the Ministry of Tourism statement in January.
Zaazou has previously reached out to the travel industry abroad to help the Egyptian tourism industry by way of a YouTube video in August of last year asking for positive imagery of Egypt to be displayed abroad.
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources since July 2013, appointed by former prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi, Sherif Ismail previously served as the executive deputy chairman and then chairman of the Egyptian Holding Company for Petrochemicals (ECHEM).
Immediately after his appointment, Ismail confirmed that the priorities of the current phase, while challenging, should focus on the need to push forward the sales of petroleum products and natural gas. This push will come through increasing production rates and increasing the research in the field as well as obtaining foreign investments.
Khaled Mohammed Hanafy was appointed the new Minister of Supply and Internal Trade in the Cabinet, replacing Mohamed Abu Shadi in the position. Hanafy is an economy professor and holds a master’s degree in regional economic development from the University of Alexandria and a PhD in International Trade. Hanafy holds diplomas and certificates from George Washington University, Thunderbird in Arizona, and the University of Louisiana.
Positions held by Hanafy include: the chairman of the Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA); dean of the Faculty of International Transport and Logistics in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport; executive director of the Arab Institute for Trade and Commodity Exchanges; and head of Marketing and International Business at the Arab Academy.
Hanafy stressed the importance of inspecting products available for consumption to meet citizens’ needs, pointing to a detailed plan aimed at developing the quality of subsidised bread without raising prices and the upcoming launch of a website for citizens to discuss their issues.
Mostafa Madbouly was assigned the position of Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development replacing now Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb. Madbouly held several positions within the Ministry of Housing prior to his appointment, including chairman of the General Authority for Urban Planning.
Madbouly holds a PhD in Architecture from Cairo University, having specialised in city planning at the Institute of National Planning and Urban and Regional Architecture Faculty of the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.
He also holds a diploma in advanced studies in the field of Urban Planning – Management Institute for the Study of Urbanism Housing and Urban Development – Rotterdam – Netherlands.
Ghada Wali became the new Minister of Social Solidarity, replacing Ahmed Boraie. Wali had been serving as the Secretary General of Social Fund for Development (SFD), an entity that provides startup companies with the required funds for their initiation. She has previous experience in the United Nations Development Programme in the field of poverty reduction and job creation.
Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour was reappointed Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade and sworn in as Minister of Investment. Abdel Nour had previously held the position of secretary general of the National Salvation Front (NSF) and served as tourism minister under the cabinet of Ahmed Shafiq in 2011. He also held a spot on the National Council for Human Rights.
On Sunday, Abdel Nour met with the president of German Democratic Party parliamentary bloc. Abdel Nour said the current government is keen on taking “serious measures” to deal with current political and economic issues, which would help foster private sector recovery.