All of this comes while Egypt is hosting a pan-Arab meeting of economic policymakers, and of amidst speculation that the NDP conference will be used to outline a new reform program and give more attention to Gamal Mubarak, who has gone from the candidate the army wouldn't stand for to heir apparent (also here) in less than two years.
Not everyone is happy about that, of course. And there is much skepticism about next week's NDP conference. But all this activity has been long-awaited in a country that has been dormant for most of the past decade. It might not be good change, but it's change.