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Egypt is an Arab state housed within the northeast segment of Africa. The country gained independence from the British government in 1922 after its status as a colony for a period of 40 years. Sudan neighbors the state to the south, and Libya’s position is west. Concurrently, Mediterranean Sea is northwards, the Red sea is in the east and Jordan to the northeast.
The headquarters, which is Cairo, is in the northern area of the republic next to the Nile; furthermore, it is the second grandest in the continent. Other important urban developments in the country are Alexandria, Ismailia, Aswan, Port Said, Asyut, and Suez (Kindersley, 2004).
The state population is approximately 80 million whereby large proportions dwell in the cities and urban places and next to the River Nile and Suez Canal. The authorized language is Arabic. Additional languages are Berber and English. The key ethnic faction found in the country encompasses Arabs, Egyptians together with Nubians. Muslim is the dominant religion in the country with a proportion of about 90%. The remaining petite religious factions are “Copts” along with Christians (US Department of state, 2010).
Environmental Issues in Egypt
The country is located in a desert thus experiences continuous water insufficiency. River Nile, the sole constant source, is escalating in salt amounts arising from overuse in irrigation and utilization by Aswan dam. Industrial contamination is slowly creeping in the major cities creating a real threat to the environment because functional-environmental checks are few.
The country had signed several global agreements that relate to ecological management by 2004 except the ‘Kyoto protocol’. This regulates the release of unsafe gases to the atmosphere. This results to high atmospheric carbon dioxide discharge in the country (Kindersley, 2004).
Current Economic System
The country’s GDP was $ 188 billion according to an official account in 2009 (US Department of state, 2010). Egypt has resources like fuel and ores that have contributed immensely to the economy. The country has excellent farming base, growing products for domestic use and export.
It owns industries for handing food, chemicals, cloth, metals, widespread productions, and military applications. The country participates in global business errands where it contributes through exchange with many partners. The affluent cultural heritage and past makes the country a sure attraction for tourists from other countries. This prompted the government to develop the necessary infrastructure in transport along with communication to facilitate the tourism sector.
Political and Economic History
The country has an interesting political account, which occurred in the former century. Even though, Egypt became independent in the year 1922, Britain maintained control thereby influencing many decisions in the monarchy they instituted in the country until 1952. This caused many revolutions to rise in resistance to the British rule leading to the formation of the communist party and Muslim groups. These were potential forces to influence the politics then.
Throughout ‘World War II’, the British used the state as the base for its military activities in the area. In 1948, Gamal Nasser overthrew the reigning king and affirmed Egypt a republic in 1953 (US Department of state, 2010). The leader became popular not only in Egypt but also among the Arabs. He made public the country’s economic organization and was among the key leaders encouraging and executing “Arab socialism” in the region.
During his reign, the US government jointly with World Bank gave financial assistance for the Aswan dam venture then later pulled out forcing Nasser to make public the privately possessed Suez Canal Company. Evidently, such a circumstance leads to conflicts with neighboring Israel and invasion by France. Nevertheless, the US countered the incursion but nothing changed to the state of ownership of the canal.
Egypt has enjoyed stability from WWII by having just three leaders. The country is a single-party state THUS the “National Democratic Party” (NDP) (Kindersley, 2004). The leaders used military support to govern because recurrent resistance from within and outside was evident. After the death of Gamal in 1970, Anwar el-Sadat was voted the leader.
As opposed to his predecessor, his influence in politics was the shift from the strategy of confrontation with Israel to peaceful negotiations. He signed a significant accord with Israel named the “Camp David Accord” observed by the US, which resulted to the control of Sinai once more. This had a great influence in the liaison Egypt and the US. Internally the president initiated increased political freedom and different fiscal guidelines with a new aspect called “infitah” or “open door” (US Department of state, 2010).
This reduced the direct influence of the government in the economy and promoted private ventures including investors from outside the country. He made efforts to ease up the country’s systems, a step the former leader opposed. Several sects attempted to revolt the regime but he suppressed them using the state military.
Although there is relative religious peace in the country, Muslim fundamentalists are accused of factional conflicts majorly in opposition to the Copts/Christians. National/global terrorism especially attacks aimed at the US are linked to the groups. The extremists direct their attacks to western tourists in the country by employing suicide violence. The same vicious sect later assassinated Sadat to usher in Hosni Mubarak. Under his tenure, Egypt again joined the “Arab league” and had a significant part in international activities especially in UN and “Non-aligned movement” (US Department of state, 2010).
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Health and Global Relations
Egypt is an affiliate of the UN. It has a sour rapport with affiliate Muslim states especially Iran due to her support for the western countries and US. This was evident in its stand concerning the gulf conflict of 1991 against Iraq. This has caused extreme Islamist activities to cause trouble in the country.
Healthcare is a significant facet to the state, the people and religion. The state has several health amenities in all cities. Although it is relatively improved, it is still at the rudimentary level with parallel services offered by centers run by mosques. Health challenges encountered are digestive issues, breathing and cardiac issues and others.
Perinatal deaths are also frequent since the nation has not attained universal targets in the reduction. Women have matching legal privileges as men; however, they have culturally defined positions in the family setting. More men attain formal education in the country whose literacy level is at 56% (Kindersley, 2004).
Current Economic Plans
Under the government that took office in 2004, the stuck economic transformation course that began in 1991 was revived. The objective was to reduce levies and taxes to support progress initiated primarily in the private ventures.
Other mechanisms to be consolidated were integrity in management, reviving stuck privatization of national ventures and execution of the existing law to encourage expansion of the private sector hence increasing the competitiveness of Egypt in the global economic arena. Egypt is going through speedy-economic growth regardless the fact that some key sectors are under the government. Privatization of agriculture with an exception of few products will enable the nation be more competitive.
The past and cultural legacies of Egypt as a nation are key elements to attract visitors. Since the state has one of the earliest forms of civilizations, people travel from far to experience this scene of the world (Kinnaer, 2011). Income obtained from the Suez Canal is also a major boost to the economy. The US regime instigated several help-plans that are playing a noteworthy role in the country’s economic expansion.
Monetary help through the USAID targets to develop small enterprises. Moreover, they aim to improve lucidity in budget allotment and improve the economy by providing a favorable business environment both locally and internationally. Business partnerships with other countries will equally boost the nation’s economy for instance Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon on the gas project venture among the three countries.
Challenges to Economic Growth
There are numerous challenges that have negatively stalled the development of Egypt from becoming a leader in economic supremacy. First, nation is situated in an arid area with the Nile being the single secure resource of wholesome water. Related to the water shortage is the high pace at which the population of the country is growing.
This has forced the government to use other additional and expensive technologies to provide fresh water (Kinnaer, 2011). The hefty population exerts pressure on the existing inadequate water capital. The government is making successful efforts to check the rates though birth control methods. However, religious leaders have made the people avoid the control methods due to pious convictions.
Political volatility is an issue that is a concern to the country. Events that are more recent are countrywide protests that led to the elimination of President Mubarak from authority. Scores of citizens lost lives and property of immense value ruined throughout the brawl. This damaged the image and reputation of the country and interfered with trade.
This course is a great threat to the country’s economic sustainability and growth. Terrorism and insecurity associated to the extremist groups may hinder tourism and discourage western investors and Christians from doing business in Egypt. Finally, the general literacy level in the nation is low, and this is major impedance towards the swift future national growth.
A favorable environment is vital in economic development of diverse countries. Calm political surroundings, sufficient resources, health and good leadership are the significant areas that ought to be considered. Evidently, sustainability is tenable when a balance is enhanced in all the mentioned areas. Egypt is an exemplar of an entity, which comprehends the nature of its existence amid diverse challenges.
US Department of State. (2010). Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-egypt/#history
Kindersley, D. (2004). World Desk Reference. Web.
Kinnaer, J. (2011). The Ancient Egypt. Retrieved from: http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html