Egypt's 102-million population is expected to reach 122 million in 2030. (AP)
Egypt’s overpopulation is a decades-old challenge that requires a presidential initiative to be mitigated, Al-Shorouk news website reported Deputy Minister of Health Tarek Tawfik as saying on Tuesday.
At "Media and Overpopulation" seminar, Tawfik said “the population will reach 122 million in 2030.”
Egypt’s population at home reached 102 million, with an average increase of 3,636 people per day between October 2020 and July 2021, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said in July.
In nine months and five days, the population increased by one million, CAPMAS added.
This challenge "should be followed up on. Without this intervention [a presidential initiative], nothing will change," Tawfik said.
Birth control methods have not efficiently reaped positive results because they “must be implemented in parallel with fighting illiteracy and school dropouts.”
In its latest statement on illiteracy in September 2020, CAPMAS reported that the number of illiterate people in Egypt stood at 18.4 million in the 2017 census, recording a rate of 25.8 percent, up from 39.4 percent in 1996 and 29.7 percent in 2006.
The issue of population growth is not being handled by a single institution in Egypt. It is rather a problem that is being co-managed by several bodies, Tawfik explained. It is difficult to coordinate the work of 22 institutions responsible for the national population strategy, he added.
Among the reasons behind the failure to control population growth, Tawfik added, is that “unfortunately, some religious clerics publicly support controlling overpopulation, rejecting it in close circles.”
CAPMAS expects the Egyptian population to reach 192 million people in 2052 with the current growth rates, and 143 million people in the same period in case of intensifying comprehensive state efforts to reduce the fertility rate.
Tawfik said that 48 percent of Egypt’s women are illiterate, stating that 67 percent of women over the age of 50 are uneducated.
According to a CAPMAS report in March, when Egypt's population had stood at 101 million, females comprised 49 percent of the population, numbering 48.5 million.
Illiteracy is higher among Egyptian females than males. Illiterate women, according to the 2017 census, reached 10.6 million, making up 30.8 percent of Egyptian females. Some 7.8 million males are illiterate, or 21.1 percent of Egypt’s males, CAPMAS said in September 2020.
Today, there are eight women in Egypt’s cabinet, representing 24 percent of the number of ministers in the government. There are 162 women under this parliamentary dome, making up 27 percent of parliament members.