Egypt’s economy is trying to keep up with its burgeoning population; 100 million citizens and counting. Last year, it was the only country in the MENA region to post positive economic growth during the pandemic and it is attempting to accelerate that growth across many of its sectors. However, that development comes at a price. The MENA region is extremely vulnerable to climate change and Egypt is feeling the strain. Both agriculture and construction consume water, and Egypt is already one of the most water poor countries in the world, with the added worry of the spectre of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam hovering in the background.
How will Egypt balance the need for development with preservation of its scarce resources? Is the country doing enough to achieve the kind of sustainable development goals that would ensure its continued prosperity and survival?
Sara El Battouty
CEO, ECOnsult; nonresident scholar, MEI
Regional principal manager, SMEs, Finance and Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Professor, Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology, American University in Cairo
Mirette F. Mabrouk (moderator)
Senior fellow and director, Egypt Program, MEI
Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP via Getty Images