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PROFILE: Egypt's new PM Hisham Qandil
President Mohamed Morsi surprises many observers with his appointment of former irrigation minister Hisham Qandil as Egypt's new prime minister
Ahram Online, Friday 27 Jul 2012
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Hesham Kandil
In this Sunday, July 22, 2012 photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, left, meets with the minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Hesham Qandil, at the presidential palace in Cairo (Photo: AP)

After weeks of speculation, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday appointed Hisham Qandil as his new prime minister, in a move that surprised many observers.

Qandil was minister of irrigation and water resources in the interim government of Kamal El-Ganzouri.

President Morsi met Qandil at the presidential palace on Sunday but his chances of being offered the premiership were dismissed by many observers, who said he was too young and lacking in political experience.

However, the water and irrigation engineer with a PhD from the University of North Carolina, appears to fit the criteria specified by leading members of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

Abdallah Shehata, a senior member of the FJP, told Ahram Online last week that the new prime minister should be under 60 years old, should believe in the Islamic project but not belong to any political group, should have experience in public administration and a solid background in economics.

Qandil, who was born in 1962, describes himself as a religious man who has never belonged to an Islamist group.

He received a BA in Engineering from Cairo University in 1984, went on to earn a masters degree in 1988 from Utah State University and a doctorate in irrigation in 1993 from North Carolina State University.

Qandil served as director of the office of irrigation minister Mahmoud Abou Zeid from 1999 to 2005 and was part of the Nile Basin Initiative launched in 1999 to develop the river in a cooperative manner.

He then worked as chief water resources engineer at the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Tunisia.

On 15 July Qandil travelled with President Morsi to the African Union summit in Ethiopia. The trip sought to rekindle Cairo's relationship with its African neighbours after years of neglect under former president Hosni Mubarak.

Improving Egypt's relationship with the Nile Basin countries is one of President Morsi's priorities, according to his presidential programme.

Qandil was appointed minister of irrigation and water resources by then-PM Esam Sharaf in July 2011, and was later asked by Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri to continue in his post in November of the same year. 

In a rare interview whilst irrigation minister in El-Ganzouri's government, Qandil criticised recurring strikes and protests that have spread across the country since Egypt's 2011 uprising.

He told Al Jazeera that there were better ways to highlight workers' demands than strikes, which – from his perspective – took a damaging toll on the already suffering economy.





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Sherine maged
10-10-2012 09:57pm
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The one who will raise the country's economy to reach the unexpectable
Dr.Qandil's mentality is one to be praised and is considered to be the luminous inspiration for future generations. By simply looking through his biography and achievements , i personally believe in his credibility in opening a new door for Egypt.
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farooq Ahmad
28-07-2012 10:22am
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Prime Minister Hesham Qandil
whosoever may be the prime minister the biggest question is he should be able to make economic reforms in the country so as to make every person in the country to earn his lively hood in a dignity and without spreading hands before any body inclucing the rulers. That is what Islamic Economics stand for
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Ahmed Adel
24-07-2012 10:43pm
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WHAT IS THE BASES OF CHOICE?
If that nomination is done due to his relation with the most corrupted and terrorist figure Safwat Hegazy, so it's bad omen. We'll have a big trouble more than we already have. God help Egypt.
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zico
24-07-2012 03:59pm
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pm
helo awee, han shouf ha ya3mel eee
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TH
24-07-2012 02:10pm
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God help Egypt
In these difficult times our country passes through, when a steady experienced hand is required to guide us through economic,political,social and religious turmoil, we have elected a neophyte puppet president that has in turn chosen a neophyte puppet PM. The blind leading the blind ! God help us and let's hope it is only for 4 years.
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Ihab Habib
25-07-2012 01:56pm
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Your mistake
If YOU have elected a neophyte puppet prisedent, this means you have made a great mistake, you should pay for it and the blind, then, is only the one who could not differenciate between candidates and have chosen to select the neophyte puppet (in this case: you). In any case, I see no point that somebody elect a neophyte puppet president and then beg God to let that elected puppet only for 4 years. However, your comment, strangely, sounds as if we had a genious, bold, independent and strong president over the last three decades.
Mohamed MALLECK
24-07-2012 10:08pm
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HASHEM KANDIL HAS THE REQUIRED SKILLS
Hashem Kandil is not a neophyte and has several positive qualities going for him. These are not limited to his being young and untainted by association with Mubarak's regime. As Chief of the Irrigation Section in the Water Resources Department of the African Development Bank (even if that was for only 40 days), he would have acquired expertise in coordinating multi-disciplinary Committees' work and running these multi-disciplinary Committees. Economic analysis and financial programming are important dimensions of these Committees' work. However pernicious is the prejudice that the very notion of "African" carries in the denomination of African Development Bank (AfDB) , that institution has, as much as the World Bank and actually even more so, to maintain a triple-A credit rating from Moody's and Standard and Poor's. More, the facts that the AfDB has a staff size of only about 1,000 compared to the World Bank's 10,000, caters to a clientele of mostly poor countries, and has to perform a

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