The Information Technology Landscape in 


About Egypt


Egypt Information – General

     Given its six thousand years of recorded history, Egypt, as a nation-state, has a complex multi-faceted persona.  In the broadest of terms, there are a minimum of four interlocking facets that must be combined to get the simplest of understandings of this nation’s daily dynamics.  First, not necessarily the most preeminent, but certainly the most widely held, is the perception of Egypt as the cradle of civilization.  While this perspective fuels the tourist industry and is the very foundation of Egypt’s self-assuredness as a nation, it is the second facet, Egypt’s leading roles in Middle Eastern cultural and political affairs that generally dominates Egypt’s relations with other nations.  In turn, this either broadens or limits the scope of choices and opportunities available domestically.  There is  post-revolutionary Egypt, whose political-economy, in many ways still holds sway over the nation.  Finally, there is this decade of the new Egypt as an integrated participant in the global economy.  It is primarily this latter Egypt that this study will focus on, but the influence the former three facets upon the current Egypt can not be discounted.

The following is a basic profile of the nation, with a few comments interspersed:

 Principal Cities:

Cairo (capital), 9.9 million; Alexandria, 3.7 million; Giza, 2.1 million;

Shubra Al Khayma, 811,000; Port Said, 461,000; Suez, 392,000; Mahalla Al Kubra, 358,844; 

Tanta, 334,505; Hulwan, 328,000; Mansura, 316,870. (CIA Factbook)


Age Structure: 
0-14 years: 36.5 percent; 
15-29 years: 28.4 percent; 
30-34years: 18.5 percent; 
60-74: 4.9 percent; and 
Over 75 years: 0.9 percent. (July 1997 est.). 

Of particular interest are the percentages of the first two groupings (total of 64.9%) and the necessary economic growth needed to productively employ such a young labor force.

 Life Expectancy: 
Total population: 61.75 years; male: 59.8 years; female: 63.8 years (1997 est.). 

Age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 51.4% 
male: 63.6% 
female: 38.8% (1995 est.)

Once again the impact of nearly 48.6 percent of the population has an impact on the ability of the country to successfully pursue economic growth in new growth sectors.

Arabic (official); French and English are widely understood by educated classes. (www.export-link)

Internal and External Commerce:

Trade balance: $(9.2) billion. 

U.S. Imports (customs value): $658 million; U.S. Exports (f.a.s. value): $3.8 billion (1997 est.). 

GDP: purchasing power parity—$188 billion (1998 est.) 

GDP—real growth rate: 5% (1998 est.) 

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,850 (1998 est.) 

 Labor force: 17.4 million (1998 est.) 

Labor force—by occupation: 
Agriculture 40%, services, including government 38%, industry 22% (1990 est.) 

Unemployment rate: 10% (1998 est.) 

Principal Trading Partners:
Imports and Exports: European Union countries, United States and Japan.

Legal System: 
Based on English common law, Islamic law and Napoleonic codes, Egypt's legal system has judicial review by the Supreme Court and the Council of State, which oversees the validity of administrative decisions. Egypt accepts compulsory International Court of Justice  jurisdictions, with reservations. (CIA Factbook)


Privatization and Deregulation
Internet Activity
Internet History
Hardware manufacturing
Software development
IT Usage
(bymilitary, households and Labor)
IT Geographics
IT Financing
IT Labor Market
Government Policies
Legal Environment
Analysis : IT Strengths/ and Weaknesses
Analysis :Impacts on the Business
Sources and Links
About the authors


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Last update: December 13, 1999