Egypt Politics

Egypt Politics, Population and Geography

Background: Having nominally achieved independence in 1922 (before 1922 – a protectorate of Great Britain), Egypt became a fully sovereign state during the Second World War. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resulting Lake Nasser changed the centuries-old importance of the Nile in Egypt’s agriculture and ecology. The rapid growth of the population (at the moment the largest among the countries of the Arab world) will hold back the development of Egyptian society and deplete the country’s resources in the new millennium.


Location: North Africa, Mediterranean coast, between Libya and the Gaza Strip.
Geographical coordinates: 27° 00′ N. latitude, 30° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 1,001,450 square kilometers; land surface area: 995,450 km2; water surface area: 6,000 km2
Comparative area: a little over three times the size of New Mexico.
Land borders: total length: 2,689 km; with neighboring states: with the Gaza Strip 11 km, with Israel 255 km, with Libya 1,150 km, with Sudan 1,273 km.
Coastline: 2,450 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of exploitation; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: desert; hot dry summers and mild winters.
Relief: a vast desert plateau, which cuts through the valley and the delta of the Nile.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Kattar depression -133 m; highest point: Mount Katerin 2,629 m.
Natural resources: crude oil, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc.
Land use: arable land: 2%; cultivated land: 0%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 98% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 32,460 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions; sultry, dry winds (khamsins) blowing in the spring; dust and sand storms.
Current environmental issues: reduction of agricultural land due to urbanization and wind-blown sand; soil salinization south of the Aswan Dam; desertification; oil pollution of marine waters, threatening the safety of coral reefs and marine animal populations, as well as the cleanliness of beaches; water pollution by pesticides, sewage and industrial waste; very limited supplies of natural drinking water away from the Nile, its only permanent source; rapid population growth depleting natural resources.
International Environmental Treaties: Member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Waste, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol.
Geography note: Egypt controls the Sinai Peninsula, the only landmass connecting Africa to Eurasia; controls the Suez Canal, the shortest sea passage from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean; Egypt’s size and proximity to Israel allow it to play a key role in the geopolitics of the Middle East.


Population: 69,536,644 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 34.59% (male 12,313,585; female 11,739,072); 15 to 64 years old: 61.6% (male 21,614,284; female 21,217,978); over 65: 3.81% (male 1,160,967; female 1,490,758) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 1.69% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 24.89 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 7.7 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -0.24 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.05 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.02 male/female; over 65: 0.78 male/female; for the general population: 1.02 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 60.46 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 63.69 years; men: 61.62 years; women: 65.85 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.07 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.02% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Egyptian; adjective: Egyptian.
Ethnic groups: Eastern Hamitic group (Egyptians, Bedouins and Berbers) 99%, Greeks, Nubians, Armenians, other Europeans (mainly Italians and French) 1%.
Believers: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 94%, Coptic Christian and other 6%.
Language(s): Arabic (official); most of the educated classes understand English and French.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 51.4%; men: 63.6%; women: 38.8% {1995 est.).


Conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt;
conventional short form: Egypt; local long form: Gumhuriya Misr al-Arabiyah (Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah); local short form: Misr; former: United Arab Republic (with Syria).
State structure: republic. See to know more about Egypt government and politics.
Capital: Cairo.
Administrative division: 26 governorates (mu-hafaz): Al-Bar-al-Ahmar, Al-Buhaira, Al-Wadi-al-Ghadid, Al-Gharbiya, Al-Giza, Ad-Dhaka-liya, Al-Kaira, Al – Qalyubia, Al-Ishmaeliya, Al-Iskandaria, Al-Minufiya, Al-Minya, Al-Fayoum, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suef, Bur Said, Ganub Sina, Dumiyat, Kafr el-Sheikh, Kina, Mat -ru, Suhay, Shamal-Sina, Es-Sueiz, Ash-Sharqiya.
Dependent Territories:
Independence: February 28, 1922 (until 1922 – protectorate of Great Britain).
National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, July 23 (since 1952).
Constitution: adopted 11 September 1971
Legal system: based on English common law, Islamic law and the Napoleonic Code; provides for review of judicial decisions by the Supreme Court and the Council of State (which reviews the legality of administrative decisions); Egypt accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction (with a number of reservations).
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal, obligatory.
chief of state: President Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK (since 14 October 1981)
head of the government: Prime Minister Atef OBEID (Atef OVEYU) (since October 5, 1999);
Government: cabinet of ministers appointed by the president; elections: the president is appointed by the People’s Assembly for a six-year term, after which the presidential candidacy must be approved by a national popular referendum; referendum was last held on 26 September 1999 (next to be held in October 2005); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: President MUBARAK appointed for the fourth time by the People’s Assembly for a six-year term; The presidential candidacy was approved by a national referendum.
Legislature: a bicameral system consisting of the People’s Assembly (Majlis al-Sha’b) (454 members, 444 of whom are elected by popular vote, 10 appointed by the president; members serve a five-year term) and the Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura), which plays only an advisory role (264 members, of which 176 are elected by popular vote, 88 are appointed by the president; their tenure is unknown); elections: for the People’s Assembly last held in three rounds on 19, 29 October and 8 November 2000 (next to be held in November 2005); to the Advisory Council – June 7, 1995 (there is no data on the date of the next elections); election results: for the People’s Assembly – distribution of votes by parties: NDP 88%, independents 8%, opposition 4%; distribution of seats by party: NDP – 398, NWP – 7, Tagam-mu – 5, nasserists 2, LSP 1, independents 38, unknown 2; to the Advisory Council – distribution of votes by parties: NDP 99%, independent parties 1%; distribution of seats by parties: no data.
Judiciary: Supreme Constitutional Court.
Political parties and leaders: Nasserist Arab Democratic Party (Dia’ al-din DAWUD); National Democratic Party (NDP) (Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK, leader), ruling party; National Progressive Trade Union Group (Tagam-mu) (Khalid MUHI AL-DIN); New Wafd Party (NWP) (No’man fOMA[No’man GOMA]); Socialist Liberal Party (LSP) (leader – NA); note: created political parties must be approved by the government.
Political influence groups and their leaders: despite the constitutional ban on religious parties, the formally illegal Muslim Brotherhood exists in Egypt, which is the most serious political opposition to the government; during his first two terms in office, President MUBARAK tolerated certain manifestations of the political activity of the Muslim Brotherhood, but in recent years he has taken increasingly harsh measures to limit their influence; the formation of trade unions and professional associations requires official authorization.
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, ACC, ACCT (associate), AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BSEC (observer), CAEU, CCC, EBRD, ECA, ESCWA, FAO, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OAU, OIC, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Nabil FAHMY; office: 3521 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone: [1] (202) 895-5400; fax: [1] (202) 244-4319, 5131; consulates general: Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Daniel S. KURTZER; embassy: 5 Latin America Street, Garden City, Cairo; mailing address: Unit 64900, APO AE 09839-4900; phone: [20] (2) 795-7371; fax: [20] (2) 797-2000.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of red (top), white and black, with the national emblem (a shield superimposed on the figure of a golden eagle looking towards the pole, above a scroll with the name of the country written in Arabic) located in the center white stripe; similar to the flag of Yemen, the white stripe on which is devoid of decorations; also similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars horizontally in the center of the white stripe, and the flag of Iraq, which has three such stars (and an inscription in Arabic).

Egypt Politics