It’s still harder than ever to determine the people with the biggest influence in the enigma that is today’s Egypt. Nonetheless, we have once again attempted to prepare our annual Power List, to the best of our ability. Despite the obvious difficulties due to the paucity of reliable information in the public sphere, here’s our take on the who’s who of society’s most powerful personalities. From government officials to industrial tycoons, to prominent Egyptians outside Egypt, this is a guide to the Egyptian figures that run the government, power our businesses and shape our country
Sherif Ismail, Egypt’s former minister of petroleum, was appointed as Prime Minister in September 2015. As the second most powerful political figure in the country, Ismail initially kept a low profile, but he now seems more comfort- able in this position and has become a more effective politician. His signature achievement to date has been overseeing the implementation of Egypt’s ambitious economic reform program. The program began in 2016 and resulted in 4.2% GDP growth in the fiscal year 2016/17; despite the many challenges the country faced.
Minister of Defence
Sedky Sobhy became the Minister of Defence in March 2014 after Abdel Fattah El-Sisi resigned to become president. He also heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and is tasked with strengthening the nation’s military and protecting the country from terrorism.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
A career diplomat whose last ambassadorial posting was in the United States, Sameh Shoukry was appointed Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in June 2014. Since then, Shoukry had to delicately mend relations with other countries in the midst of the country’s continuous socio-economic troubles. While normally taking a low-key posture with a calm demeanor, he recently had a vocal confrontation in the Arab League with the Qatari Minister of State, signaling a new more aggressive posture as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
AMR EL GARHY
Minister of Finance
Prior to his appointment as Minister of Finance in March 2016 to help solve the country’s financial crisis, Amr El Garhy was the Man- aging Director of Citadel Capital Holding. As Minister of finance, he is credited with successfully concluding and implementing Egypt’s agreement with the IMF, based on an ambitious Egyptian fiscal reform program that aims to reduce the government’s large budget deficit through raising government revenue and reducing subsidies.
Minister of Investment and International Cooperation
A former adjunct professor of Economics at the American University in Cairo and a former World Bank official, Dr. Sahar Nasr was appointed Minister of International Cooperation in September 2015. The Investment Ministry was added to her portfolio in February 2017. She has been very effective in contracting billions of foreign currency loans, which have raised Egypt’s foreign currency reserves. Yet the loans have also elicited much criticism for excessively increasing the country’s foreign debt burden.
HALA EL SAID
Minister of Planning and Administrative Development
Prior to her appointment as Minister of Planning and Administrative Development in February 2017, Dr. Hala El Said was Professor of Economics and the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University. She had earlier been the Executive director of the Egyptian Banking Institute from 2003 to 2011. She is credited with co-authoring Egypt’s 2030 Economic Strategy with the former Minister of Planning, Dr. Ashraf El Araby.
Minister of Commerce and Industry
Previously a partner in Abraaj Group and the president of PepsiCo international for Middle East and Africa, Tarek Kabil was appointed as Minister of Commerce and Industry in 2015. As minister he has formulated the Industry and Trade Development Strategy for 2016-2020. The strategy includes five pillars: industrial development; micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurship development; exports development; upgrade of technical and vocational education and training; and governance and institutional development.
Minister of Housing Utilities & Urban Communities
Mostafa Madbouly was appointed Minister of Housing in February 2014, after being the Regional Director for the UN HABITAT Regional Office for the Arab States for two years. He previously held several senior posts in the ministry and as minister is credited with implementing an ambitious program of low income housing developments in Cairo, Alexandria and Upper Egypt.
Minister of Social Solidarity
Previously Secretary General of the Social Fund for Development, and a career UNDP official, Ghada Wali was appointed minister in March 2014. She has been instrumental in the government’s move to cash subsidies long in the making and is currently actively expanding the social programs that benefit the poorest families in Egypt. The most notable program being ‘Tadamon’ and ‘Takafol’ which provide coverage for over 1.5 million Egyptian families today.
Governor of the Central Bank
Appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt in 2015, Tarek Amer oversees Egypt’s banking sector and is responsible for the country’s monetary policy. He has been praised for freeing Egypt’s exchange rate, even though it has led to a period of very high inflation, causing hardship for the lower and middle classes. He is implementing an ambitious strategy to expand financial inclusion by merging the large informal sector into the formal economy to enhance growth and achieve an equitable distribution of economic gains.
HISHAM EL SHERIF
Minister of Local Development
A leading businessman and an authority on Information and Knowledge Society, Dr. Hisham El Sherif graduated from Egypt’s Military Technical College with a degree in electronic engineering and received a PhD in Decision Support Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He founded the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center think tank in 1990 and headed it until 1999. In February 2017, he was appointed Minister of Local Development, tasked with promoting economic development in the various governorates of Egypt.
Minister of Education
Dr. Tarek Shawky, a university professor of mechanical engineering, became Minister of Education in 2017. He was head of the President’s Advisory council, tasked with leading national efforts towards building an ‘Egyptian Learning Society’ and managing grand projects to prepare young leaders, train thousands of teachers and to establish the ‘Egyptian Knowledge Bank’. He is currently in the process of planning and implementing a major overhaul of Egypt’s education system over the coming years.
Minister of Supply and Internal trade
Dr. Ali Moselhi graduated from the Military Technical College and received a PhD in microchip design from France’s Ecole Polytechnique. A past Minister of Social Solidarity and a past member of the current parliament, who headed its Economic Committee, Moselhi was appointed Minister of Supply and Internal Trade in February 2017. This was a new ministry resulting from the merger of the supply ministry with the internal trade portfolio, taken from the former trade and industry ministry.
KAMEL EL WAZIR
Head of the Egyptian Armed Forces Engineering Department
Major General Eng. Kamel el Wazir, is the point man in practically all of the government’s major infrastructure projects, including the new Suez Canal, which was completed in record time, as well as the building of the huge tunnels under the Suez Canal and the Rod El Farag Axis Road. He is also responsible for the ongoing work on the New Administrative Capital.
THE BUSINESS LEADERS
CEO of Orascom Construction Industries
Nassef Sawiris, Egypt’s richest businessman, heads Orascom Construction Industries, one of the largest nitrogen fertiliser producers in the world. Sawiris split the company into two entities in 2015. Orascom Construction now trades on Egypt’s exchange and Nasdaq Dubai, while OCI, the fertiliser and chemicals business, trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. Sawiris also owns 5% of cement giant Lafarge Holcim, and 7% of Adidas. This year his estimated net-worth is $6.9 billion.
Chairman of Orascom Telecom Media & Technology and Chairman of Weather Investments II
Naguib Sawiris is the billionaire founder and Chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holdings. He also owns the holding company, Weather Investments II, and is the majority shareholder of television channel Euronews and Gemini Real Estates Ltd, a consortium constructing the touristic development project, Ayia Napa marina in Cyprus. In 2017 he founded El Gouna Film Festival, whose first edition was a great success.
Chairman of the Mansour Group
Youssef Mansour is the eldest brother and the part owner of the family business, the Mansour Group. He is responsible for the consumer goods division of the Group, which includes Egypt’s largest supermarket chain, Metro, as well Kheir Zaman, Labanita, Hayat water, and tobacco brands Davidoff and Gauloises. Mansour was assigned as Chairman of Mansour Holding Company for Financial Investments from 1992 to date. Youssef Mansour is also accredited for being one of the founding members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
Board Member of Mansour Group, Chairman of Mantrac and Man Capital
Mohamed Mansour is an owner and board member of Mansour Group and is the chairman for Mantrac, one of the major distributors for Caterpillar, with partnerships in Iraq, Russia, and six countries in Africa. The company is also one of the biggest General Motors distributors worldwide. Mansour founded Man Capital, the Mansour Group’s investment company, in London and is its acting CEO. Infinity Solar, a subsidiary of the Group, acquired TAQA Solar this year.
Vice Chairman of Mansour Group
Yassin Mansour is part owner and Vice Chairman of Mansour Group, a business empire and one of the largest private sector conglomerates in the Middle East and Africa. Mansour is the founder and chairman of the publicly-traded Palm Hills Developments, one of Egypt’s biggest real estate developers, which recently partnered with the Ministry of Housing to build a new technological city in 6th of October City. Mansour is also the founder of Manfoods which owns McDonalds in Egypt.
Chairman & CEO of Orascom Development Holding
Samih Sawiris founded Orascom Development, which builds and operates resorts in Egypt, Montenegro, and Switzerland. In 2015, the company sold 15% of its subsidiary, Orascom Hotels & Development, on the Egyptian stock exchange. Sawiris is famous for founding the popular El Gouna resort town on the Red Sea. He also owns nearly 10% of construction giant, Orascom Construction Industries. This year, Sawiris hosted the 1st edition of El Gouna Film Festival in El Gouna with his brother Naguib.
AHMED ABOU HASHIMA
Chairman & CEO of Egyptian Steel Group and Managing Director & Vice Chairman of Fe Steel
Ahmed Abou Hashima is the majority shareholder in Egyptian Steel, which owns several iron and steel factories. His influence has been growing since he founded the Egyptian Media company and acquired El Youm 7 (7th Day) newspaper and satellite TV channel ONTV. Abou Hashima appears to be the go-to businessman which the government turns to when they need something done behind the scenes.
HAMED EL CHIATY
Chairman & CEO of Travco Group International Holding
El Chiaty is the Chairman and CEO of Travco Group International Holding, the most prominent travel group in the Middle East. The company owns the international hotel chains Steigenberger Hotels AG, and the hospitality management company Jaz Collection, which manages a growing portfolio of 46 hotels and resorts across Egypt and the Middle East. El Chiaty is also the developer of Almaza, an exclusive luxury resort compound on Egypt’s north coast.
AHMED EL SEWEDY
President & CEO of Elsewedy Electric Company
Ahmed El Sewedy is President and CEO of one of the biggest companies in the Middle East and is one of the wealthiest Arab men in the world. Along with his brother Sadek, Ahmed runs Elsewedy Electric Company, an Egyptian manufacturing conglomerate that sells integrated energy products and services in seven energy segments.
Founder of Amer Group Holdings
As the founder of Amer Group Holdings, Mansour Amer is responsible for the numerous ‘Porto’ real estate developments in Egypt’s North Coast, Cairo and Sokhna. This year, the company started implementation of the third phase of Porto Matrouh. Amer is engaged in negotiations with Minister Sahar Nasr to establish a recreational investment area, Porto Said, on an area of 76 acres. He has also expressed readiness to establish a new ‘Porto’ in the development of West Nikhela in Marsa Matrouh .
Chairman of Dorra Group & Managing Director of Construction & Reconstruction Engineering Company
Hassan Dorra has reshaped and restructured Dorra Group since taking over from his father. Dorra’s latest project includes the expansion of the Capital Business Center in Sheikh Zayed. Dorra is also in the process of launching a new urban project in the new Zayed City area on a total area of 250 acres as part of its plan to expand its real estate investment activity.
MOHAMED MOHSEN SALAH
President of the Arab Contractors
As President of the Arab Contractors, the giant contracting company, Eng. Mohsen Salah works closely with Major General Kamel Wazir in the implementation of the government’s major infrastructure projects. These projects include the completed new Suez Canal, the New Administrative Capital and the Suez Canal Tunnels, as well as many of the road projects being built all over the country.
MOHAMED FARID KHAMIS
Founder of Oriental Weavers Group
Mohamed Farid Khamis established Oriental Weavers Group in 1978, which is now one of the largest manufacturers of carpets in the world. The Group has manufacturing facilities in three countries and distributes its products to more than 130 countries worldwide. Khamis is now the Head of The Egyptian Federation of Investors.
Founder of PICO and Al Masry Al Youm
Founder of Al masry Al Youm, Salah Diab is also the Founder and Chairman of PICO, the largest agricultural producer in Egypt and has large investments in oil, gas and the hospitality sector. In 2004, he established the leading independent Egyptian newspaper, Al Masry Al Youm (Egypt Today), which is one of the country’s most influential publications.
Founder & Chairman at Tarek Nour Holdings
Through three decades as Egypt’s leading advertising agency, Nour Holdings has expanded to become the largest marketing communications group in the Middle East. In 2008, the company completed a high-profile merger with DDB Communications that allowed it to maintain a firm grip on the market. Nour is also the owner of the TV channel, Al Qahera Wal Nas.
Chairman & Ceo of GB Auto Raouf Ghabbour
Raouf Ghabbour is the Chairman and CEO of GB Auto, the leading automotive assembler, manufacturer and distributor in North Africa and the Middle East. He transformed his company from the sole Egyptian assembler and distributor of Hyundai passenger cars into a diversified group that assembles, manufactures and distributes cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, tuktuks, tires and more. Ghabbour now controls 96% of the Chinese car market in Egypt.
MOHAMED EL SEWEDY
Chairman of Elsewedy Electrical Solutions
Mohamed El Sewedy manages the leading manufacturer of integrated cables and electrical products in the Middle East, providing integrated energy solutions to a diverse range of sectors. He is also Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries and a member of Egypt’s Parliament who heads the Industrial Committee. In 2017 he became head of the Support Egypt coalition.
SADEK EL SEWEDY
Chairman of Elsewedy Electric Company
Sadek El Sewedy is the Chairman of Elsewedy Electric Company, the leading cables and electrical products manufacturer in the Middle East. The company specialises in providing integrated energy solutions in sectors such as wires and cables, transformers, telecommunication, energy management, turnkey projects, electrical products and wind energy generation.
Co-Founder & Chairman of Beltone Financial
As Co-founder and Chairman of Beltone Financial, a leading regional financial service institution, Alaa Saba ensures the company’s investments, asset management and equity research are up to international standards. He’s also a co-founder of Hermes Financial, which has become a leading investment bank in Egypt.
MAHMOUD EL GAMMAL
Founder & CEO of Galala Development Company
Mahmoud El Gammal is the owner of Galala Development Company. The business leader made a name for himself through various large-scale investments in projects such as Al Ain Resort and Al Ain Bay in Sokhna, as well as Hacienda Bay on the North Coast. He is also the founder of New Giza, a huge real estate development in 6th October City.
Chairman & Founder of Qalaa Holdings
Ahmed Heikal is the Chairman and co-founder of Qalaa Holdings, a leading investment company in Africa and the Middle East. Qalaa subsidiary ECARU, embarked on a solid waste management operation in Egypt that gathers waste and then uses it to produce energy alternatives and compost for agricultural purposes. This model is now being implemented in eight countries. Qalaa is also working on implementing two solar power plants in Egypt.
KARIM SAMI SAAD
Chairman of Samcrete Development
Karim Saad is the son of Sami Saad, the founder of Sami Saad Holding-Samcrete. Samcrete is an integrated engineering, con- struction and development company for the public and private sector, which cooperates with leading global companies. Under Saad’s leadership, Samcrete is currently working on Pyramids Heights, a landmark project at the heart of 6th of October city.
CEO & Board member at EFG Hermes
Karim Awad is CEO and a board member of EFG Hermes, the leading investment bank in the Arab world. EFG Hermes has operations in eight countries serving regional and global clients. As CEO of EFG Hermes, Awad manages a total worth of EGP 14.2 billion in company assets.
HISHAM EL KHAZINDAR
Co-Founder & Managing Director of Qalaa Holdings
As Co-founder and Managing Director of Qalaa Holdings, a leading investment firm in Africa and the Middle East, Hisham El Khazindar is a leading investment banker. Qalaa controls investments in excess of $9.5 billion in mining, energy, logistics, agrifood and building materials industries. El Khazindar recently joined the Institute of National Planning representing the private sector.
HISHAM EZZ AL-ARAB
Chairman of Commercial International Bank (CIB)
Since 2002, Hisham Ezz Al-Arab has served as Chairman and Managing Director of CIB, Egypt’s largest private sector bank. With over 187 branches across the country, CIB manages over LE 187 billion. CIB was named Best Bank in the Middle East by Euromoney in 2017.
CEO & Vice Chairman at AAIB
Abdallah is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Arab African International Bank, an international bank based in Egypt, with a network of branches in Lebanon and across the GCC. This year, AAIB established a company for small and micro enterprises providing them with loans as part of the bank’s efforts to promote financial inclusion.
MOHAMED EL ERIAN
Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz Se
Mohamed El Erian is the Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz SE. Allianz SE is the leading international service provider, which offers products and solutions in insurance and asset management to over 75 million customers worldwide. He is also the former CEO and co-chief investment officer of PIMCO and is a regular contributor to CNN and the Financial Times.
Director of the London School of economics
Nemat Shafik became the first-ever female deputy governor of the Bank of England in August 2014. Often dubbed ‘the most powerful woman in London’, Shafik was included in Forbes 2016 Most Powerful Arab Women list. On the 1st of September, 2017, Shafik became Director of the London School of Economics.
Owner of Allam Marine
Allam Marine, in Melton, is a global manufacturer and supplier of generators. In 2006, Assem Allam was awarded the United Kingdom’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise and was named the Ernst and Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year. In addition, Allam owns and chairs the professional Hull City Association Football Club, based in Hull, England.
MOHAMED EL FAYED
Mohamed El Fayed is a business tycoon who owns The Ritz Hotel in the heart of Paris, ranked among the most prestigious and luxurious hotels in the world. He has recently turned his attention to online retail, buying UK-based discount fashion website Cocosa, and a controlling stake in Princess.
TAREK ABDEL MEGUID
Founding Partner and Head of Asset management of Perellaweinberg
With over 25 years of experience in investment banking, Tarek Abdel Meguid is a powerhouse in the finance world. He helped PWP become a leading independent global financial services firm.
Managing Partner of the Abraaj Group
Mustafa Abdel-Wadood is responsible for overseeing the Global Private Equity business of The Abraaj Group. The Abraaj Group is a global institution and is the leading private investment firm dedicated to Emerging Markets with offices in 20 countries. Abdel-Wadood currently manages in excess of $10 billion, primarily across targeted private equity strategies.
Senior Vice President of the World Bank for the 2030 Development Agenda
Mohmoud Mohieldin is a leading economic figure and was Egypt’s Minister of Investment until 2010. He is currently the Senior Vice President of The World Bank for the 2030 Development Agenda. The Agenda forms the new global development framework with sustainable development goals, covering economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
CEO of Etisalat International
Hatem Dowidar was appointed CEO of Etisalat International in June, 2016. Etisalat is one of the world’s leading telecom groups, providing innovative solutions and services to 163 million subscribers in 17 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Prior to joining Etisalat, Dowidar was the Group Chief of Staff for Vodafone Group in London.
Ceo of International Diagnostic Holdings
Hend El-Sherbiny is CEO and major shareholder of International Diagnostic Holdings. She is a leader in her field and built her company from one lab to a company with 4,000 employees, 290 branches and 4 central labs across the Middle East. With the help of Abraaj Group, she led her company to an IPO on the London Stock Exchange that put its value at $668 million.
Heart Surgeon and Founder of Chain of Hope Foundation
Sir Magdi Yacoub is a pioneer heart surgeon and a professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute and Imperial College of London. He founded the Chain of Hope Foundation and the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation in Aswan, offering free health services and heart surgeries of the highest standards to the underprivileged. In 2017 Yacoub performed several heart sur- geries for free in Ethiopia and Egypt.