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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Possible Conflict of Interest?

Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

One of the peculiar symptoms of the Egyptian blogsphere (I hate this word, but it's handy!) is that most of our reactions are more Egyptian than we are willing to admit.
For example, a lot of people talked about the incident of the soldiers killed at Rafah (me included), and most were, rightly so I might add, emotional about the topic. But as important as this incident is, a lot of the less apparently important matters just pass by without us giving it the due consideration. If it's not a shooting, a beating, or an arrest then we are not interested. Maybe the Egyptian bloggers are not the ones to blame, but rather our dire conditions which are making of the aforementioned incidents a daily routine.

Anyways, this just caught my attention, and I was surprised no one mentioned it earlier. Mohamed Mansour, who was appointed as the transportation minister in the new government, is, as some of you might know, also the CEO of the very successful Mansour Group. Now, before I go on let me make a couple of things clear: 1)I don't object to businessmen assuming public office, especially at this point in time for the Egyptian economy; I think they will bring a much needed practicality and creativity in tackling some of the most pressing matters; 2)I have no problem with the person; from what I know he is one of the most professional, understated, and respectable businessmen around. Having said this, it came to my knowledge, that most of the state-owned road construction companies (which are directly related to the transportation ministry) have extensive dealings with Mantrac (they supply equipments, loaders, drillers, etc...), which is owned by, guess who, Mansour group! Imagine what would happen if some sort of conflict happened between the two sides (late deliveries, incompliance to specifications, etc..), which are so common.

Now, I'm not jumping to any conclusions, but a word of advice to the government(as if they're actually reading this...huh...well, apparently they do, anyways...) : Such things should be brought into the light promptly, so as not to give the people any chance to assume wrong doings from the outset, but more importantly to guarantee that none happens.

Moved on!


The correct thing for a businessman to do in these cases is to declare his interests, disconnect himself from the business for the time he is in government, and transfer his money to a trust fund of some kind. It happens quite often in the US.

By Anonymous Don Cox, at January 15, 2006 3:24 PM  

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