chapter  12
18 Pages

The Arab Republic of Egypt

ByJ.S. Birks, C.A. Sinclair

The large economically active Egyptian population, frustrated by a sluggish domestic labour market, has responded to increased opportunities in the capital-rich Arab countries, and migration abroad for employment has increased markedly. Continued population growth could render Egypt’s human resources increasingly redundant, better assessed through an Asian rather than an Arab perspective because of the scale of the problem. Literacy is an example of Egypt’s population growth eliminating what otherwise would be a substantial improvement in terms of socio-economic development. The Gulf Organisation for the Development of Egypt was her principal donor and loaner; relations between it and the Egyptian government have been adversely affected by political developments in the region. Egypt’s labour market appears highly compartmentalised, with very little occupational mobility. It is characterised by extraordinary immobility between even relatively similar occupations. In short, it is possible for Egypt to enlarge her role as an exporter of labour but it will take effort, investment and some marketing flair.