Egypt’s Alarming Population Growth during Political Instability
by pamiryazdani on September 24, 2015 - 3:43pm
In the article ¨Egyptian population explosion worsens social unrest¨, Patrick Kingsley argues that by maintaining the rate of birth that Egypt had during the last two years, the country will eventually outgrow its natural resources’ capacity to regenerate. In fact, during 2010 to 2012, an increase of 560,000 number of births was observed by the latest statistics, ranking this growth as the largest two-year increase in population since records began. Underlining that 60% of the Egyptian population is under 30 years old, Kingsley emphasises the importance of natural resources in this society. Since the youth is the predominant part of their population, the population will continue to expand in the following years since young people will have children. They will thus need to have a lot of resources in order to have a reasonable quality of life. Kingsley also underlines the major problem of their country: Egypt already lacks enough water, wheat, and energy to feed its population. The author suggests that the solution to this problem is to encourage a reduction in the number of birth. To do so, he encourages the use of contraceptive and he encourages the government to restart doing population control since it was successful when they did it in the 80s and 90s. Kingsley also points out that the 86 million inhabitants living in Egypt only live on 8% of the Egyptian lands. Thus, he suggests that people move to lower density areas. Finally, Kingsley also points out Youssef’s, the head of Egypt’s national population council, solutions on this problem. Youssef believes that by implanting a strategy that encourages girls’ education, discourages child marriage, and educates the youth about sexuality, there will be a reduction in the number of births.
In my opinion, since Egypt suffered from grand political instability during the last years, it will be hard to implement a strategy that will be effective quickly. During Hosni Mubarak’s government, population control slowly fell off the priorities of the leaders. Then, in 2011, when Mubarak was removed from the head of the country, people did not have time to worry about population growth in the midst of the social instability (Kingsley, 2014, par. 9). In these conditions, the birth rate increased enormously. However, on the other hand, since the population suffered during the last few years, I believe that they might be more receptive to changes that promise them a better future. Thus, by educating the youth, Egypt could easily decrease its birth rates since 60% of the total Egyptian population is under 30 (Kingsley, 2014, par. 3). As the article suggested, sexual education could therefore be helpful. This type of education might serve as a type of preventive contraception, as Thomas Malthus suggested as a solution to decrease the number of births. Examining the ability of the Egyptian society in the midst of political and societal instability to change its beliefs on reproducing might guide us towards solutions that could be used on other countries in similar situations.
Kingsley, P. (2014, February 16). Egyptian Population Explosion Worsens Social Unrest. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com