North Africa

Egypt Economy

Egypt, Arabic Misr, officially Djumhurijjat Misr al-Arabijja [d ʒ um-], German Arab Republic of Egypt (the old local name was Kemt, “the black”, after the color of the Nile mud), state in the extreme northeast of the African continent with (2019) 100.4 million residents; The capital is Cairo. Visit for the best of Egypt.


The macroeconomic importance of the agricultural sector has decreased significantly in recent years, both in terms of its share in GDP (2015: 11.2%) and in exports. Nevertheless, the sector takes on an economic stabilization function, as it is domestically oriented and still characterized by small farmers who, in addition to market production, also operate for their own needs.

Only about 3.8% of the country’s area can be used for agriculture. The Nile represents the most important water resource. In addition to the rain-cultivated areas on the northern Mediterranean coast, oases in particular are created(fossil groundwater resources) managed. Of the cultivable land, 74% are so-called “old land” and 26% are new land, which has been developed since 1952, mainly east and west of the Nile Delta. With the construction of the Aswan High Dam (completed in 1970, inauguration in 1971), the Egyptian irrigation system was converted from flood irrigation to continuous irrigation, which enables better water management. The main negative consequences of this regulation for agriculture are the absence of the fertile Nile sludge, which used to be deposited on the fields (natural fertilization), and the increasing salinization of the soil (soil salinization) due to the high water supply in some areas and, at the same time, strong evaporation.

Due to the favorable climatic conditions, several harvests per year are possible in Egypt. The most important crops are wheat, maize, rice (especially in the Nile Delta), fodder clover, cotton and sugar cane (especially in the Nile Valley). In the new land areas, fruit, vegetables (especially tomatoes) and peanuts dominate. The main winter fruits are wheat and fodder clover, while corn, cotton and rice dominate in summer. Cotton cultivation, formerly a main export product, has been massively scaled back since the 1970s in favor of wheat and fruit.

Fisheries: The fishing grounds in inland waters and in the Mediterranean are still poorly developed. The main fishing areas are the Nile and its side canals as well as the Lake Nasser.

Energy industry

A main problem in economic development is the supply of energy when domestic demand is rising sharply. In 2014, around 162 billion kilowatt hours were produced in the energy industry (9.5% by hydropower and 87.7% by fossil fuels [natural gas and oil]). Energy is also increasingly being obtained from wind, sun and biomass.


In comparison with other African countries, Lower Egypt predominantly has a well-developed transport infrastructure. Traffic density decreases towards the south. The railway network is the oldest in Africa; the Cairo – Alexandria line was opened in 1856. The main connections of the 5 195 km long railway network run mainly through the Nile Valley and Nile Delta. In 1987 the first subway in Africa was opened in Cairo to relieve the city, which is suffocating from car traffic. The most important connections of the 121,400 km long, paved road network are the star-shaped roads from Cairo to Alexandria, Ismailia, Suez and Aswan. South of Aswan there are mostly only unpaved roads. In 2001 a 2.4 km long bridge was inaugurated over the Suez Canal, and in 2002 a bridge over the Nile near Aswan.

Inland shipping, especially on the Nile between Cairo and Alexandria and on the Ismailia Canal, offers cheap transport options for bulk goods. Because of its favorable geographical location, international sea traffic is of paramount importance for Egypt. The Suez Canal, which opened in 1869, is not only of great importance in terms of transport and finance, but also strategically. The most important sea ports are Alexandria, Damiette, Port Said and Suez. The 320 km long Sumed pipeline connects the Gulf of Suez with Alexandria. In addition to the international airports of Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, the other airports of Port Said, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel are important for domestic traffic.

Egypt Economy


Giza (Gizeh, Giza, Gise), city in Egypt, on the western bank of the Nile opposite Old Cairo, with (2018) 4.2 million residents.

West of Giza on the edge of the Libyan desert are the pyramids of the pharaohs Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinos (also Pyramid) as well as the oldest extant Egyptian Sphinx.