Cairo population set to grow by 500,000 people in 2017

Egypt’s population is expected to reach 160 million-180 million in 40 years.

More pressure. Pedestrians walk along a street in Cairo, on March 9. (Reuters)


2017/07/30 Issue: 117 Page: 20




Cairo - Cairo’s population is set to grow by 500,000 people this year, more than any other city in the world, adding to the pressure on an Egyptian economy struggling to recover from six years of political turmoil.

Greater Cairo, a metropolitan area including the cities of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia, is home to about 22.8 million people and will gain another half a million in 2017, a Euromonitor International report showed.

That represents one-quarter of Egypt’s 92 million. The national natural population growth of 2.4% per year is double the average of other developing countries, said Mohamed Abdelgalil, adviser to of­ficial statistics agency CAPMAS.

Stinging poverty in southern Egypt leads many families to have several children in the hope the children can become sources of income. Those children eventu­ally migrate to larger cities for job opportunities scarce in their home towns.

“In rural areas, and in the south in particular, poor families have many children because they see these children as a safety net,” said Maysa Shawky, the head of the National Population Council.

“Also, many of them have daugh­ters until they have sons,” she add­ed. “They want to produce bread­winners. Instead of hiring a worker, they could have their children help them.”

Shawky said awareness cam­paigns at universities and schools have begun as part of a national population strategy.

Internal migration is one of the main causes of overpopulation in Cairo. Egypt lists 351 slums as un­safe, most of them in the sprawling capital where the poorest have built ramshackle homes that lack basic amenities such as sewage and water services. About 850,000 people are believed to live in such dangerous slums.

“For the average citizen to not be affected by hikes in the prices of goods and services, the economic growth rate must be double the natural population increase rate,” Abdelgalil said.

Egypt’s economic growth was 4.3% in 2015-16, not enough to achieve that. The International Monetary Fund expects it to be about 4% this year.

A new administrative capital, an­nounced in March 2015, is intended partly to reduce the crowding in Cairo. About 45km to the east, it would be home to government min­istries, housing and an airport.

People are to start moving to the as yet-unnamed city in 2018, said Khaled Abbas, assistant to the Housing minister for technical af­fairs. Work on 17,000-18,000 resi­dential units is nearing completion and they are to be put up for sale in April.

“Egypt’s population is expected to reach 160 million-180 million in 40 years. Where will all these peo­ple go?” said Abbas. “We’re also working on developing areas in northern and southern Egypt.”

(Reuters)


As Printed
MENA Now
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar

Correspondents

Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

Designers

Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

www.alarab.co.uk

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved