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World Factbook (1990) Egypt.jpg

 See regional map VI and VII


Total area: 1,001,450 km²; land area: 995,450 km²

Comparative area: slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico

Land boundaries: 2,689 km total; Gaza Strip 11, Israel 255 km, Libya 1,150 km, Sudan 1,273 km

Coastline: 2,450 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Extended economic zone: undefined
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: Administrative Boundary and international boundary with Sudan

Climate: desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters

Terrain: vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta

Natural resources: crude oil, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc

Land use: 3% arable land; 2% permanent crops; 0% meadows and pastures; NEGL% forest and woodland; 95% other; includes 5% irrigated

Environment: Nile is only perennial water source; increasing soil salinization below Aswan High Dam; hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring; water pollution; desertification

Note: controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, shortest sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean; size and juxtaposition to Israel establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics


Population: 54,705,746 (July 1990), growth rate 2.5% (1990)

Birth rate: 34 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 10 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NEGL migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 90 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 60 years male, 61 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 4.7 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Egyptian(s); adjective—Egyptian

Ethnic divisions: 90% Eastern Hamitic stock; 10% Greek, Italian, Syro-Lebanese

Religion: (official estimate) 94% Muslim (mostly Sunni), 6% Coptic Christian and other

Language: Arabic (official); English and French widely understood by educated classes

Literacy: 45%

Labor force: 15,000,000 (1989 est.); 36% government, public sector enterprises, and armed forces; 34% agriculture; 20% privately owned service and manufacturing enterprises (1984); shortage of skilled labor; 2,500,000 Egyptians work abroad, mostly in Iraq and the Gulf Arab states (1988 est.)

Organized labor: 2,500,000 (est.)


Long-form name: Arab Republic of Egypt

Type: republic

Capital: Cairo

Administrative divisions: 26 governorates (muḩāfaz̧at, singular—muḩāfaz̧ah); Ad Daqahlīyah, Al Baḩr al Aḩmar, Al Buḩayrah, Al Fayyūm, Al Gharbīyah, Al Iskandarīyah, Al Ismā‘īlīyah, Al Jīzah, Al Minūfiyah, Al Minyā, Al Qāhirah, Al Qalyūbīyah, Al Wādī al Jadīd, Ash Sharqīyah, As Suways, Aswān, Asyūţ, Banī Suwayf, Būr Sa‘īd, Dumyāt, Janūb Sīnā’, Kafr ash Shaykh, Maţrūḩ, Qinā, Shamal Sīnā’, Sūhāj

Independence: 28 February 1922 (from UK); formerly United Arab Republic

Constitution: 11 September 1971

Legal system: based on English common law, Islamic law, and Napoleonic codes; judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State (oversees validity of administrative decisions); accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 23 July (1952)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly (Majlis al-Sha’ab); note there is an Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura) that functions in a consultative role

Judicial branch: Supreme Constitutional Court

Leaders: Chief of State—President Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK (was made acting President on 6 October 1981 upon the assassination of President Sadat and sworn in as President on 14 October 1981);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Atef Mohammed Najib SEDKY (since 12 November 1986)

Political parties and leaders: formation of political parties must be approved by government; National Democratic Party (NDP), President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, leader, is the dominant party; legal opposition parties are Socialist Liberal Party (SLP), Kamal Murad; Socialist Labor Party, Ibrahim Shukri; National Progressive Unionist Grouping, Khalid Muhyi-al-Din; Umma Party, Ahmad al-Sabahi; and New Wafd Party (NWP), Fu’ad Siraj al-Din

Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18

Elections: President—last held 5 October 1987 (next to be held October 1993); results—President Hosni Mubarek was re- elected;

People's Assembly—last held 6 April 1987 (next to be held April 1992); results—NDP 69.3%, Socialist Labor Party Coalition 17%, NWP 10.9%; seats—(458 total, 448 elected)—NDP 346, Socialist Labor Party Coalition 60, Labor-Liberal-Muslim Brotherhood Alliance 60 (37 belong to the Muslim Brotherhood), NWP 36, independents 7;

Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura)—last held October 1986 (next to be held October 1992); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(210 total, 140 elected)

Communists: about 500 party members

Other political or pressure groups: Islamic groups are illegal, but the largest one, the Muslim Brotherhood, is tolerated by the government and recently gained a sizable presence in the new People's Assembly; trade unions and professional associations are officially sanctioned

Member of: ACC, AfDB, Arab League, CCC, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, IDA, IDB—Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOOC, IPU, IRC, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, NAM, OAPEC, OAU, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG, WTO; Egypt was suspended from Arab League and OAPEC in April 1979 and readmitted in May 1989

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador El Sayed Abdel Raouf EL REEDY; Chancery at 2310 Decatur Place NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 232-5400; there are Egyptian Consulates General in Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco; US—Ambassador Frank G. WISNER; Embassy at 5 Sharia Latin America, Garden City, Cairo (mailing address is FPO New York 09527); telephone [20][2] 355-7371; there is a US Consulate General in Alexandria

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with the national emblem (a shield superimposed on a golden eagle facing the hoist side above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; similar to the flags of the YAR which has one star, Syria which has two stars, and Iraq which has three stars all green and five-pointed in a horizontal line centered in the white band


Overview: Egypt has one of the largest public sectors of all the Third World economies, most industrial plants being owned by the government. Overregulation holds back technical modernization and foreign investment. Even so, the economy grew rapidly during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but in 1986 the collapse of world oil prices and an increasingly heavy burden of debt servicing led Egypt to begin negotiations with the IMF for balance-of-payments support. As part of the 1987 agreement with the IMF, the government agreed to institute a reform program to reduce inflation, promote economic growth, and improve its external position. The reforms have been slow in coming, however, and the economy has been largely stagnant for the past three years. With 1 million people being added every eight months to Egypt's population, urban growth exerts enormous pressure on the 5% of the total land area available for agriculture.

GDP: $38.3 billion, per capita $700; real growth rate 1.0% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 25% (1989 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1989 est.)

Budget: revenues $7 billion; expenditures $11.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $4 billion (FY89 est.)

Exports: $2.55 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—raw cotton, crude and refined petroleum, cotton yarn, textiles; partners—US, EC, Japan, Eastern Europe

Imports: $10.1 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—foods, machinery and equipment, fertilizers, wood products, durable consumer goods, capital goods; partners—US, EC, Japan, Eastern Europe

External debt: $45 billion (December 1989)

Industrial production: growth rate 2-4% (1989 est.)

Electricity: 11,273,000 kW capacity; 42,500 million kWh produced, 780 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, petroleum, construction, cement, metals

Agriculture: accounts for 20% of GNP and employs more than one-third of labor force; dependent on irrigation water from the Nile; world's fifth-largest cotton exporter; other crops produced include rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruit, vegetables; not self-sufficient in food; livestock—cattle, water buffalo, sheep, and goats; annual fish catch about 140,000 metric tons

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $14.7 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $7.8 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $2.9 billion; Communist countries (1970-88), $2.4 billion

Currency: Egyptian pound (plural—pounds); 1 Egyptian pound (Ě) = 100 piasters

Exchange rates: Egyptian pounds (Ě) per US$1—2.5790 (January 1990), 2.5171 (1989), 2.2128 (1988), 1.5015 (1987), 1.3503 (1986), 1.3010 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June


Railroads: 5,110 km total; 4,763 km 1,435-meter standard gauge, 347 km 0.750-meter gauge; 951 km double track; 25 km electrified

Highways: 51,925 km total; 17,900 km paved, 2,500 km gravel, 13,500 km improved earth, 18,025 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 3,500 km (including the Nile, Lake Nasser, Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, and numerous smaller canals in the delta); Suez Canal, 193.5 km long (including approaches), used by oceangoing vessels drawing up to 16.1 meters of water

Pipelines: crude oil, 1,171 km; refined products, 596 km; natural gas, 460 km

Ports: Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, Bur Safajah, Damietta

Merchant marine: 142 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,141,799 GRT/1,754,181 DWT; includes 1 passenger, 7 short-sea passenger, 2 passenger-cargo, 88 cargo, 2 refrigerated cargo, 13 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 14 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 15 bulk

Civil air: 43 major transport aircraft

Airports: 97 total, 87 usable; 67 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways over 3,659 m; 46 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 21 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: system is large but still inadequate for needs; principal centers are Alexandria, Cairo, Al Manşūrah, Ismailia, and Ţanţā; intercity connections by coaxial cable and microwave; extensive upgrading in progress; 600,000 telephones (est.); stations—25 AM, 5 FM, 47 TV; satellite earth stations—1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT, 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT, 1 INMARSAT; 4 submarine coaxial cables; tropospheric scatter to Sudan; radio relay to Libya (may not be operational); new radio relay to Jordan

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Command

Military manpower: males 15-49, 13,271,942; 8,642,075 fit for military service; 547,084 reach military age (20) annually

Defense expenditures: 7.2% of GDP, or $2.8 billion (FY90 est.)