14 Births Every Second: Minister of Planning and Economic Development

14 Births Every Second: Minister of Planning and Economic Development

Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development (Hala El-Said) | c. Sustainability Insider

Egypt will need four times the present educational capacities, and nine times the health facilities by 2050 if the present fertility rate remains (3.4 child per woman), said Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development at a population growth seminar. The event, which took place on Sunday, 22 August, was organized by state-run Al Gomhouria newspaper.

Egypt’s recorded population of 102 million continues to increase rapidly each day. In 1950, the local growth rate was estimated at 20 million every 28 years. El-Said claims that today, same number is achieved every eight years, adding that “there are 14 births every second.”

Despite a population plan already set in place in the 1960s, El-Said is revitalizing the need to control fertility rates. According to the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the absence of “integration between policies and lack of an integrated population policy” are primary factors in Egypt’s bottom-heavy population pyramid. El-Said was quick to remind those attending the seminar that this situation has led to a decrease in the quality of each individual’s share in education and health services.

According to ministry sources, El-Said discussed the state’s efforts to develop a “comprehensive and ambitious vision for the future” as promised in Egypt’s Vision 2030. The three pillars of this vision (social, economic, and environmental) were discussed at length, as was the need to achieve a feasible balance between them.

El-Said maintained that Egypt is the only country to establish positive economic growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic; she explained that Egypt’s annual target is an increase of three percent, but that it has now achieved a growth rate of 3.6 percent. She also explained that human resources are the core of the developmental process, and “to achieve sustainability in development, there must be a citizen capable of productivity.”

The minister emphasizes the importance of providing the community with a “decent life” and women with economic empowerment – both of which, she believes, are lacking in the presence of massive population growth.

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With a heart for radio and an appetite for culture, Mona is a writer and illustrator based in Cairo. At the Erasmus University Rotterdam, she obtained a BSc and MA in Media, Culture, and Society, while actively writing for the faculty magazine. After graduating, Mona was an academic advisor at the American University in Cairo, as well as Managing Director of a small, campus-based advertising firm. Gears shifting, her knack for cultural research took over - enter: Egyptian Streets. Mona’s focus is tapered to issues of identity politics, culture, and social architecture.

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