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Monday, September 21, 2015

Egypt's new Cabinet of Ministers sworn in

Egypt's new Cabinet of Ministers during the official ceremony
(Image: The Star)
After Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb and his government resigned last week Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has appointed former Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail the state's new Prime Minister. The new Cabinet was formed, as some ministers kept their positions since the previous government, while the Cabinet saw 16 new appointments and some internal structural changes within the Cabinet.

The new Cabinet has sworn in early on Saturday, 19 September, taking oath in front of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The new Cabinet consists of 33 ministers. Some ministries within the Cabinet were merged into one, namely Ministry of Health and Population were merged into one, Ministry of Education and Technical Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Thus, former Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail was appointed as a new Egypt's Prime Minister. He made a great career as an engineer and had a story of membership in various political parties. Sherif Ismail is not a public figure and tries to avoid too much media attention, choosing not to express his political views and ideas and preferring to concentrate on the technical issues of the Cabinet's work. Sherif Ismail was born in 1955 and has graduated from Cairo Ain Shams University. He worked for a while for an international oil company Mobil, then later he joined Egyptian state-owned Engineering for the Petroleum and Process Industries. He served as a Minister of Petroleum in Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet.

New government takes an oath in font of Egypt's President Abdel
Fattah El-Ssis
(Image: Al-Arabia)
The Cabinet consists of 33 ministers, 17 of them served in Ibrahim Mehleb's government, while 16 others were new faces in Egyptian government.

1. Minister of Defense - Sedki Sobhi. He remained on his positions since he was appointed Minister of Defense in 2014 and resigned from this position in order to run for presidency. Sedki Sobhi has graduated from Egypt's Military Academy and build a bright military career becoming a Commander of Egypt's Third Army responsible for South Sinai and Suez. He also served as a Minister of Defense in Ibrahim Mehleb's government.

2. Minister of Interior - Magdi Abdel Ghaffar. He was appointed Minister of Interior by Ibahim Mehleb to replace Mohamed Ibrahim and remained on this position in the new government as well. He has close ties with Egypt's National Security Apparatus that was established after the dissolution of the State Security Apparatus after the 2011 Revolution.

3. Minister of Education and Technical Education - El-Hilali El-Shebini, who served as a dean of the Faculty of Specialized Education at Mansoura University and also as a cultural advisor to the Libyan embassy. He also worked in the previous government as a deputy Minister of Higher Education.

4. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research - Ashraf El-Sheihi, who graduated from Cairo University, engineering faculty. Earlier in September he was appointed to the Cabinet of Ibrahim Mehleb.

5. Minister of Religious Endowments - Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, who was first appointed on this position in 2014 by the interim President Adly Mansour and remains on this position since that time. He was a dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo and a member of Al-Azhar Senior Clerical Institute.

6. Minister of Planning - Ashraf El-Araby, who was first appointed on this position in the Cabinet of Hisham Qandeel in 2013, under Mohamed Morsi's rule. As a part of Ibahim Mehleb's Cabinet Mr. El-Araby took part in a mid-term economic development plan for Egypt that was unveiled during the Economic Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in March 2015. In the new Cabinet Mr. El-Araby will also lead negotiations with the public employees on the by-laws of the legislation and he will also oversee implementation of the government's economic vision and administrative reform's plans.

7. Minister of Agriculture - Essam Fayed, who replaced Salah Ad-Deen Helal who was forced to resign and was charged of corruption. Essam Fayed is a microbiology Professor at Cairo Ain Shams University.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
(Image: The Statesman)
8. Minister of Health and Population - Ahmed Emad Ed-Deen Rady, who replaces Adel El-Edawy as a Minister of Health. The new ministry is expected to face many challenges due to the current situation with the medical sector in the country and the recent wave of doctors' strikes and protests.

9. Minister of Justice - Ahmed El-Zend, who was appointed on this position in May 2015, in Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet and remains on his position in the new government as well. He was a head of a powerful Judges Club in 2009 and is known for his controversial statements and a fierce opponent of the currently banned and outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

10. Minister of Manpower - Gamal Sorour, former first deputy for migration and foreign labor at the Ministry of Manpower and then he was appointed on this position in Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet.

11. Minister of Supply and Internal Trade - Khaled Hanafi, former Head of Internal Trade development Authority under the Ministry of Supply and a minister in Mehleb's Cabinet. He reformed food subsidy system in order to eliminate smuggling and made a wider variety of commodities available for public.

12. Minister of Electricity - Mohamed Shaker, who retained his position from the previous Cabinet. His Ministry is set to continue its power diversification program in Egypt and plans to further liberalize electricity prices in the country.

13. Minister of Foreign Affairs - Sameh Shoukry, who also served in Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet and remained on his position in the new government as well. He graduated from Ain Shams University in Cairo with the bachelor degree in law and served as a secretary for information in the cabinet of the former Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak. He also was Egypt's Ambassador to Austria and is Egypt's permanent representative to the UN.

14. Minister of Investment - Ashraf Salman, formerly a co-founder of an investment bank (Cairo Financial Holding) and an Investment Minister from the previous Cabinet. He was also one of the key figures during the Egypt's Economic Forum in Sham El-Sheikh that took place in March 2015.

15. Minister of Finance - Hany Kadry Dimian, who was appointed on this position in Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet during the rule of an interim President Adly Mansour. He also led negotiations with the IMF for granting Egypt financial aid.

16. Minister of Civil Aviation - Hossam Kamal, who was appointed as a Chairman of EgyptAir in 2013 and also chosen as a representative of Arab Airlines in the International Aviation Union. He is expected to open the new airports and to develop and improve the conditions of the existing ones as well. One of the goals is covering the remote areas of the country.
17. Minister of Tourism - Hisham Zazou, who serves as a Minister of Tourism since 2012. His task will be ailing Egypt's tourism sector that suffered a lot since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and the following turmoil including jihadists' activity in Sinai.

18. Minister of Social Solidarity - Ghada Waly, who was a Secretary General of the Social Development Fund prior to the appointment as a minister in 2014. During her work at the ministerial office she implemented the first phase of Egypt's conditional cash transfers program called "Solidarity and Dignity".  

19. Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and SMEs - Tarek Kabil, who holds a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering of Alexandria University and served as a director of Jordan Aircraft Maintenance Limited and was also a partner of several business groups.

20. Minister of Communication and Information Technology - Yasser El-Kadi, who served previously as a CEO of the Information technology Industry Development Agency.

21. Minister of Culture - Helmy El-Namnam, who was newly appointed to this position by Egypt's new Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. He is an author, journalist and was a head of Egypt's National Library and Archives in 2014. He holds a degree in Philosophy and graduated from Cairo University.

22. Minister of Petroleum - Tarek El-Molla, who formerly served as a chairman of the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and graduated from Cairo University.

23. Minister of Transportation - Saad El-Geyoushi, who is a former head of Egyptian General Authority for Roads and Bridges.

24. Minister of Housing - Mostafa Madbouly, who retains his position since his service in Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet. His Ministry was also merged with the Ministry of Urban Development. He is an architect and urban designer. He also holds a PhD for urban planning from Cairo University and a postgraduate diploma from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam.

25. Minister of Local and Administrative Development - Ahmed Zaki Badr, who previously served as a Minister of Education under the rule of Hosni Mubarak and was also a member of the National Democratic Party, currently dissolved and banned.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and fomer PM Ibrahim
Mehleb, who is appointed as a presidential advisor
(Image: The Indian Times)
26. Minister of Youth and Sports - Khaled Abdel-Aziz, who retains his post from the previous government.

27. Minister of Environment - Khaled Fahmy, who served as the country's environment minister in 2013, during Mohamed Morsi's presidency. He resigned after ouster of Mohamed Morsi. Mr. Fahmy holds a PhD in economics.

28. Minister of International Cooperation - Sahar Nasr, who is the third woman to be appointed as a minister of international cooperation in Egyptian government. She is a member of the presidential advisory economic council and previously worked as a leading financial economist in the Middle East and North Africa World Bank Finance and Private Sector Development Department. She received bachelor degree in economics in American University in Cairo.

29. Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs - Magdy El-Agaty, who was previously a vice president of Egypt's State Council, a prestigious judicial body. He has over 25 years experience in the State Council.

30. Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources - Hossam Ed-Deen Moghazy, who was the first appointed Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources in Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet and retains this position in the new government as well.

31. Minister of Military Production - Mohamed El-Assar, who is a Brigadier General and is a member of Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), the body that ruled Egypt during the transitional period after Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

32. Minister of Antiquities - Mamdouh El-Damaty, a former head of Department of Antiquities at Ain Shams University in Cairo. He was a member of Ibrahim Mehleb's Cabinet and retained his position in Sherif Ismail's Cabinet as well.

33. Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs - Nabila Makram. She is a head of the new ministry introduced by the Cabinet of Ministers of Sherif Ismail. She is an Egyptian diplomat and served as a consulate general of Egypt in Rome, Italy, and previously served as a deputy consulate general in Dubai, UAE.