Africa Cup of Nations Notebook - Day 26

Monday July 15 2019


Watch out! The listed price not the real cost


When purchasing items in Cairo, particularly in a restaurant, one has to be very keen on the price.

What is quoted on the menu is not what you will pay for as there are some taxes that the eating place conveniently fails to include in the listed price. So, for example, you may decide to buy a hamburger, French fries and soda whose indicated price is 52 Egyptian Pounds (about Sh325).

But, alas, when you are given the receipt, it will often show a price of 58.24 EGP (Sh364). Upon protesting, one is promptly shown the VAT addition (12 per cent) with a shrug.


Want some water? Just say ‘mai’


It is a well-known fact that Swahili language borrows some words from Arabic. From greetings and numbers to verbs, several words in Swahili can be traced to the Arabic language. But there is one word spoken here that curiously resembles that used by the largest tribe in Kenya.

Egyptians call water “mai” which is almost similar to “maai” used by the Gikuyu in reference to the life-sustaining liquid. And in the prevailing hot weather in Cairo, constantly drinking “mai/maai” is a necessary practice for anyone who ventures out.

Press pack finally arrives days to final


The Confederation of African football has strived to ensure the 2019 Afcon is well organised, but Caf overlooked small things that has left many question lingering on.

They forgot to give journalists the tournament’s press pack – a one-stop summarised information about the event. This is a routine undertaking for any big sports event but no press pack was given when the tournament started.

Journalists were surprised when they were handed a brief press pack on Sunday night from sponsors Total, five days to the final. At least it reveals that Total employs 10,000 people in 43 African countries.

Egypt’s electricity supply to hit 70GW


After 25 days of staying in Cairo, I have experienced power outage just once at my hotel in Nasra City, lasting just minutes.

Local media reports indicate the country has good supply of power. Electricity production in Egypt will exceed 70 gigawatts by 2020, one report shows.

Another indicates that officials in the Egyptian Ministry of electricity and renewable energy have revealed details of Egypt’s plans to export its electricity surplus to Europe.

Egypt will deliver 3,000 megawatts to Cyprus. Early this year Egypt agreed to export some 40MW of power to Sudan.