by Tarek Erfan Shafey

Compost: top-quality organic fertilizer

The Market at Present

Egypt is blessed with the high agricultural output and natural resources that make its fertilizers industries, with output worth USD 10 Billion, important for both domestic use and exports. Nonetheless, by smartly managing both demand and supply and utilizing its resources, the country has high upside potential to very sustainably and profitably become a fertilizers and agricultural force, as well as boost its industry and energy sectors.

Agriculture has been Egypt’s mainstay for millennia, and is still important and labor-intensive, representing 12% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 30% of the workforce…


by Tarek Erfan Shafey

Expanding Upper Egypt

Winding through 850km of the fertile but narrow and overpopulated Nile Valley from Giza southwards to Aswan, Upper (central and southern) Egypt has long and increasingly lagged the dominant and richer north, and needs policy focus to expand and provide for its fast-rising numbers, but in a cost-efficient, profitable, sustainable and equitable way. We explore eight spots for modern new cities west of the Nile Valley, with excellent location, resources, low risk and costs, and potential for fast population and high-profit economic growth with high quality of life.

But first, a quick look…


by Tarek Erfan Shafey

A huge Nile Perch fish from Lake Nasser (Nubia)

Egypt’s state has inherited outdated and counter-productive food policies and tradition-bound priorities that need brave, enlightened and quite achievable reforms for public health, economic efficiency and equity, climate change adaptation and sustainability. Despite its very fertile land, high agricultural output and exports, Egypt is paradoxically overpopulated and inefficient, and imports most of its food at great cost due to policy mistakes. Reform would very favorably transform its economy and citizens’ livelihoods.

An Overview

Essential food items such as bread, rice, sugar, edible oils and tea are subsidized to all at well-below market prices, fostering imports worth tens of billions of…


by Tarek Erfan Shafey

Cairo’s Stock Exchange Market

Egypt’s financial services sector, representing 8–10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in recent years, has lagged innovations in other countries, especially in options for retail investors. Many Egyptians have surplus capital from good salaries, savings, inheritance, or from wealth/income-providing assets such as agricultural land or real estate. A wider and better-targeted range of investment choices can be offered by banks, and by deeper and more liquid non-bank capital markets. Three options, in ascending risk, are explored, as is how they can serve Egypt’s investors, firms, state (central government) and economy at large: 1) Bank-offered investments: Money…


by Tarek Erfan Shafey

Good apartments in Cairo, Egypt

Mortgage lending has raised home affordability and ownership, fostered construction, quality job creation and economic growth in many countries. More is needed in Egypt, where only the top 10–15% of income earners can afford to buy homes via cash, and mortgage loans represent only 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) versus 25% in nearby Morocco, indicating high potential. …


Water Treatment Plant

Egypt’s Subsidized Staple Bread

Egypt’s Flawed State Subsidies Need Effective Reforms

by Tarek Erfan Shafey

The Flawed Subsidies

As Egypt endeavors to grow its economy and improve the standard of living of its fast-growing, 102 million-strong population, the state needs to reform its wasteful, inefficient and counter-productive, universal subsidies on food, fuel, electricity and public transportation. In the state budget for FY 2021, state spending was USD 109 Billion, with the four subsidy categories, although they have been steadily reduced in recent years, still costing USD 5.4, 1.8, 1.7 and 0.6 Billion, respectively. They are a major cause of the still high budget deficit…


Quality before quantity

Needed in Egypt: A Transformative Population Policy

by Tarek Shafey

A long-standing leader and modernizer in the Arab region, Egypt now faces stiff challenges, important among which is a population of 101 million that is growing fast at 2 million a year (2%). With an economy only moderate in income levels and growth, fast population growth is straining resources and infrastructure, and worsening economic and social problems. Egypt shares such challenges with many developing countries, and lessons learned there are widely applicable elsewhere, especially in fellow African, Arab, majority-Muslim, and even other countries, including some in South Asia and Latin…


Wood Trees and Industries: A Surprising Opportunity for Egypt

by Tarek Erfan Shafey

Wood Trees for Egypt

Egypt’s wood industry has faced hurdles in the past decade, but still has high potential, backed by a surprisingly wide and versatile range of wood trees and wood substitute products cultivable in Egypt or imported from Africa. Wood uses in Egypt include for home and office furniture, doors, floorings, boats, ships, industry and construction, and the wood industry is the largest in Africa and the Arab countries. In 2019, products for the domestic market were worth USD 1 Billion and exports USD 440…


Electric Vehicles: A Window of Opportunity for Egypt

by Tarek Erfan Shafey

Egypt’s Potential

As a populous, lower-middle income and leading Arab and African country, Egypt faces challenges on which it can nevertheless act and turn into opportunities. As a densely populated country with serious traffic congestion, air and noise pollution problems caused by fuel-based vehicles, the production and exporting of electric vehicles is both an excellent domestic solution and a great opportunity to lead this nascent market in the Arab region and Africa. Electric vehicles (cars, buses and other public transport vehicles, trucks and trains) are the transport modes…

Tarek Erfan Shafey

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