CONVENTIONAL LONG FORM: ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT
Encouraged by the protests in Tunisia that overthrew the long-term leader, mounting popular anger burst to the surface in huge anti-government demonstrations in January 2011 that eventually ended President Mubarak’s long rule.
The protesters’ hoped-for transition democracy proved elusive, however, as post-revolutionary politics became polarised between the newly ascendant Islamists on the one hand and the military as well as liberal and secular forces on the other. At the same time growing extremist Islamist militant insurgency has shaken Egypt’s stability.
Following a year of interim military rule, the first presidential elections in half a century were won by Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi in 2012.
But a year on, growing dismay at the government’s actions among many Egyptians, and the mighty Military, boiled over in another wave of protests. In a well planned coup, according to leaked classified documents, the military ousted Mr Morsi and violently suppressed the protest sit-ins held by the Brotherhood and protesters against the military coup in response. In August 2013 The military killed at least 1,000 protesters in what was to be called “The Rabaa Massacre”.
The new authorities outlawed the Brotherhood, started drafting a new constitution and curbed media freedom. The army chief, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, tog power and performed a presidential election in May 2014. His rise has resulted in repression as severe as during the Mubarak era, reports several HUman Rights Organisations.
The economy depends heavily on agriculture, tourism and cash remittances from Egyptians working abroad, mainly in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.
However, rapid population growth and the limited amount of arable land are straining the country’s resources and economy, and continuing political turmoil has paralysed government efforts to address the problems.
Egypt has made great strides along a number of important human development indicators, but economic growth has been moderate, albeit insufficient to absorb the rapidly growing population and labor force.Â Child mortality, life expectancy, primary and secondary school enrollment, and literacy rates have improved dramatically in the past thirty years, while average per capita income growth has been around 2% per year since 1980 resulting in an increase in unemployment rates and poverty rates.