Egypt – avoiding “collective suicide”

“Egyptian census data shows that in 1948, Egypt’s population reached nearly twenty million, added another twenty million by 1975, twenty million more by 1994, with the populace reaching sixty million. Another twenty million over the next seventeen years means eighty million Egyptians by 2011. Egyptians needed thousands of years to reach the first twenty million, before managing to double several times in a few years, without creating a concomitant increase in agricultural land or available water to ensure securing the necessities of life. They also failed to achieve human development and the quality of life achieved by other developing nations.” (1)

The above excerpt from a journal article by Magued Osman outlines, what to many, is the main factor that precipitated the unrest that has plagued Egypt in recent years.  The tragic reality is that Egypt is on a path to, what Osman describes as, “collective suicide”. Egypt’s population is projected to eclipse 100 million within 20 years and to reach 140 million by mid-century.

Egypt is struggling to meet the needs of it’s current population of 80 million. The trajectory that their population growth is taking them will only serve to make further improvements in human development and quality of life increasingly difficult, if not impossible. Addressing such a serious issue is extremely difficult for Egypt in it’s current political state, therefore, the international community needs to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and assist Egypt as much as possible. The consequences of overpopulation require global solutions in our rapidly globalising world.

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