Implications, Challenges and Recommendations


Egypt’s population increased from 56.9 million in 1990 to 93.4 million in 2016, and is expected to climb to 100.5 million in 2020. Egypt has a growth rate of 2.1%, which is higher than most of its regional counterparts, though the rate has dropped from 2.4% in 1990. The share of the country’s working-age population in the total population has increased substantially, rising from 54% to 61% between 1990 and 2016. Over the same time, the share of the population under 15 has decreased from 41% to 34%. While this has provided a growing pool of potential employees, it has likely also generated increased pressure to create jobs for the growing labour force.

For policymakers

Life expectancy in Egypt is expected to improve from 71 years in 2015 to 74.7 years in 2035. This, together with the growing population, will intensify pressure on the government to provide infrastructure and services such as healthcare, education, better sanitation, public transport, and so on. Opportunities exist to privatise the provision of some of these services or enter into public–private partnerships, which could speed up delivery, reduce government spending, and improve efficiencies.

There was a major decline in healthcare practitioners from 1999 to 2012, with the number increasing again slightly between 2012 and 2014. Despite this increase, there is still an acute shortage of practitioners in the country. The country needs to urgently increase support, financial and other, to medical professionals. In order to keep doctors and nurses from emigrating to countries where their salaries permit far better lifestyles, remuneration for medical professionals in Egypt must urgently be reviewed. In addition, much more needs to be invested in the parts of Egypt’s public healthcare system that have been neglected. Infrastructure must be repaired and maintained, and medical staff need to be able to rely on having sufficient equipment. The new constitution stipulated that the government would increase spending on healthcare from roughly 1.5% of GDP to 3% by 2017.[86] This commitment must be adhered to.

The number of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases is a major challenge for the country. In 2014, 46% of deaths were caused by cardiovascular diseases. Smoking, obesity, and hypertension very common in Egypt and these risk factors need to be addressed. To do so, the World Health Organisation has supported the Ministry of Population and Health in the raising of tobacco taxes, reducing salt and replacing transfats in the Egyptian diet.[87] Public education campaigns can assist by creating public awareness of healthy life style choices and modifying attitudes towards diet and nutrition.[88]

For the HR fraternity

Employers also have a responsibility to improve the health situation of the workforce; through direct education plans they could proactively influence employees in terms of prevention, and the workforce could be educated in terms of the best treatment options and be supported in treatment programmes.

Organisations should create formal health and wellness strategies, which could be implemented through, among others, health and wellness days, which focus on education, prevention and counselling. Healthcare practitioners can be engaged on these days to do onsite examinations and provide personal feedback to employees. Through these counselling and feedback sessions, ignorance among employees regarding health issues can be addressed. In addition, given the shortage of medical professionals, multinationals will have to develop contingency plans for employees who require health care services.

Corporate social responsibility at Orange Egypt (Mobinil)[89]

Over the past 15 years, Mobinil has engaged in several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) inititatives, investing almost EGP 200 million in these initiatives. In partnership with major NGOs, Mobinil has focused on skills development through the employment and training of thousands of Egyptians.

Supporting Technical and Vocational Training for Youth

In collaboration with Awtad organisation, Mobinil has continued to implement its project in training students from technical and industrial schools, including women workers and artists working on handcrafts. This initiative provides the youth with raw materials essential to producing high quality handcrafts, allowing them to generate a proper income. Through this initiative, thousands of jobs were offered to handcraft workers from El Nuba, Aswan, Sinai, Siwa, Marsa-Matrouh, Alexandria and Cairo.

A student who works in a workshop manufacturing traditional copper products, Mr Ahmed Shafik, said the following about the initiative:

”After joining Awtad’s program, our workshop began to produce copper products of a higher level of finishing with prices that suit the local market, we also managed to market our products in a better way by participating in different exhibitions and this helped us increase the number of craftsmen in our workshop to five people.”

Employing those with Disabilities and the Blind

Mobinal, in partnership with the Ebtessama foundation, developed a programme called A Right for an Equal Life. This programme aimed to develop a process and system to empower young adults with disabilities, providing them with an equal opportunity for employment and integration into society. This initiative successfully rehabilitated hundreds of disabled young adults and many were employed in well-established Egyptian hotels.

A disabled man, Mr Sherif Gameel, commented below on this initiative:

“Before joining Ebtessama’s program I was unable to walk on my own and could not go out except with the company of one of my parents, I also had no source of income or social relations, but after joining the program I was trained to walk alone and conduct work that matches my abilities and this enabled me to be employed as an assistant gardener in Rotana Hotel, Hurghada branch, I am living a normal social life in Hurghada and now having a health insurance and a pension.”

With their various CSR initiatives Mobinil continues to work towards their goal of employing 100,000 Egyptians in the coming few years.

  • Country Profile
  • Introduction
  • Broad Economic Indicators
  • Currency and Exchange Rate
  • Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business
  • Foreign Investment and Largest Companies
  • Foreign Aid
  • Country Strategic Framework
  • Summary of Economic Conditions
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations
  • Population
  • Living Standards and Poverty Levels
  • Healthcare
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations
  • Qualifications Profile of the Population and Workforce
  • Levels of Schooling and Basic Education
  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • Tertiary Education
  • Innovation in Egypt
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations
  • Labour Force
  • Employment by Sector
  • Employment by Skill Level
  • Employment by Occupation
  • Labour Productivity
  • Unemployment and Job Creation
  • Expatriates, Immigrants and the Egyptian Diaspora
  • Wage and Salary Trends and Social Insurance
  • Industrial Relations Framework
  • Labour Market Efficiency
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations

Socio-Demographic Indicators

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