Egypt resumes summer clock change to save energy
Egypt has decided to reinstate daylight savings time after a nine-year hiatus as part of the cash-strapped government's efforts to "ration energy use," the cabinet said Wednesday in a statement.
"Starting from the last Friday of April until the last Thursday of October each year, the official time of the Arab Republic of Egypt will be set forward by 60 minutes," the statement said.
A worsening economic crisis, triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year, has sent the Egyptian currency plummeting and prices skyrocketing.
Cairo last year announced a series of electricity rationing measures, including dimming street lights, intended to free up energy for export and increase its depleted foreign currency reserves.
The return to twice-yearly clock changes is the government's latest move "in light of the economic conditions and changes the world is witnessing", according to the cabinet statement.
Egypt last observed daylight savings time in 2014. The government imposed two additional clock changes that year to shorten the daytime fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, making a total of four in one year.
As authorities struggle to rustle up foreign investment, inflation hit 26.5 percent in January, according to official figures.
Household electricity bills, which are subsidised for most of the population, could increase in June, when a year-long freeze on price hikes expires.
The Egyptian pound lost half its value in under a year. Experts say this has stalled plans by Cairo's wealthy Gulf allies to acquire Egyptian state assets.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli returned empty-handed this week from meetings in Qatar, which last year pledged to invest $5 billion in the North African country, but has been slow to act.