FILE-New Minister of Local Development Abu Bakr al-Gendy
CAIRO – 16 January 2018: New Minister of Local Development Abu Bakr al-Gendy said Monday that establishing projects and investments to develop Upper Egypt is very important for Upper Egyptians, as it gives them the chance to stay in their homes instead of living in Cairo’s slums.
This was during a celebration held in the minister’s honor on Monday at the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
During the celebration, he remarked that poverty rates in many of Upper Egypt’s governorates have reached 60 percent; hence, citizens there need real development, stressing that a quarterly report will be prepared for the first time to show the real index of poverty in each governorate.
This statement on people living in Upper Egypt has been refused by some; Mosatafa Salem, an Egyptian parliamentarian from Tahta, Sohag, said that Upper Egyptians are not second-class citizens and that they participate in developing their society and building big cities including the New Administrative Capital, calling on Gendy to issue an official apology.
However, Gendy said in a phone call with TV presenter Lamis el-Hadidy on Monday that he did not mean to insult Upper Egypt in his recent statement, adding that Upper Egyptians can work with huge patience and perseverance.
He further remarked that if MPs want him to go to the Parliament to clarify his statement, he will do that.
The four newly-appointed ministers were sworn in on Sunday before President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as part of the cabinet reshuffle.
Egypt's House of Representatives approved the cabinet reshuffle on Sunday. In a plenary session, the Parliament voted on the reshuffle of the cabinet, which is still presided by Sherif Ismail.
The reshuffle has affected four ministries: Culture, Tourism, Local Development and Public Enterprise.
The Head of Cairo Opera House Inas Abdel Dayem, was chosen to be the new minister of culture instead of Helmy el-Namnam. The prestigious international flute player received her master’s in flute from the high music school in Paris. Abdel Dayem was also the former dean of the conservatoire.
The Head of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) Abu Bakr al-Gendy was appointed as the minister of local development, instead of Mohamed Zein el-Abidin.