Egypt's PM outlines role of information minister, goals of state media policy

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Jan 2020

Questions were raised over the new minister's responsibilities in light of the 2016 creation of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation

Osama Heikal
File Photo: Minster for State for Information Osama Heikal (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has issued a decision defining the role of the newly-appointed minister of state for information, and the country's state media policy.

Osama Heikal, who served as information minister from 2011 to 2012, was appointed as the state minister for information as part of a cabinet reshuffle last month. Egypt had previously abolished its Information Ministry in 2014.

The appointment raised questions over the role of the new minister in light of the 2016 creation of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, which regulates media organisations.

According to Madbouly's decision, Heikal's responsibilities include proposing the state’s media policy, and coordinating with the president, the prime minister and relevant media and press authorities for its implementation.

Heikal is also tasked with laying out "media plans to address various local and international political situations, in liaison with various ministries and authorities."

Heikal will oversee plans to upgrade state and private TV, develop drama content, and boost competitiveness between different channels."

The minister of state for information will also work to "support the state media and boost its competitivenes, support freedom of the private media, and... offer professional support to online media."

In addition, he will represent the state in international conferences and forums.

Tuesday's decision also defined the state media's policy, saying it aims to "highlight state efforts to implement national projects and their impact on the future of citizens." It is also intended to boost Egyptian media locally and internationally and improve its competence in dealing with various crises as well as raising awarness about influential issues.

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