Software expert to head Egyptian government
[CAIRO] Ahmed Nazif, a 52-year-old information technology and software engineering expert — he holds a masters degree in electrical engineering from Cairo University and a doctorate in computer engineering from McGill University in Canada — has been named as Egypt's new prime minister.
His appointment last week by president Hosni Mubarak follows the resignation of the previous government on 9 July, and makes Nazif the country's youngest prime minister. He is also the first Egyptian prime minister with no background in economics to be appointed since 1987.
According to the state newspaper al-Ahram, the new prime minister is expected to bring "youthful, fresh blood and scientific thinking" to the administration, and thus to help Egypt to become a modern knowledge-based society.
Nazif has already taken a step in this direction by appointing Amr Ezzat Salama, formerly president of Helwan University, as the country's new minister for higher education and scientific research. Salama, 53, is a professor of civil engineering, and chaired the university's centre for technology development.
The appointment of the new government comes hard on the heels of a report, released last month by the Egyptian Council of Economic Competitiveness, calling for measures to improve the competitive position of Egypt's economy through science and technology.