Egypt’s finance and industry ministers Samir Radwan and Samir El-Sayad resigned on Sunday.
Prime Minister Essam Sharaf accepted the resignation of Radwan, appointed at the end of January 2011 by Hosni Mubarak, replacing him with economics professor Hazem Beblawi who will also act as deputy prime minister.
Beblawi, 74, a veteran economist and former undersecretary of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, will be charged with overseeing economic policy in the new cabinet during the transitional period.
A specialist in Middle Eastern economies who has contributed to regional policy matters, El-Beblawi has written several books on banking, international trade and economic development.
Beblawi is a founding member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, formed after the toppling of former president Hosni Mubarak. He also writes a weekly column for Al-Ahram newspaper.
Beblawi served as undersecretary-general at the UN between 1995 and 2000, having been chairman of the Export Development Bank of Egypt from 1983 to 1995.
Starting his academic career at the University of Alexandria in 1965, Beblawi became a professor of economics nine years later. He has since taught at the universities of Cairo, Ain Shams and the American University of Cairo, as well as in Kuwait, California and at the Sorbonne in Paris.