Middle East: Egypt

About Egypt

Nominally independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following World War II. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile river in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to ready the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Cairo
Population: 69,536,644 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 22.9% (FY95/96 est.)
Language: Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
Date of independence: 28 February 1922 (from UK)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc
Environmental Issues: agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, ra
Agricultural Products: cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats
Imports: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels
Exports: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: EU 36%, US 14%, Afro-Asian countries 14%, Middle East 6% (1999)
EXPORTS: EU 35%, Middle East 17%, Afro-Asian countries 14%, US 12% (1999)


Egypt Headlines


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