Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Urbanization and the informal economy in Egypt

In Egypt, mass urbanization, as rural and agricultural populations migrate to cities, has led to a rapid expansion of the informal employment sector as urban economies have not adequately adjusted to the rising demand for jobs. According to Dr. Rashad Abdou, a professor of economics at Cairo University, as much as 60 percent of the Egyptian economy is concentrated in the informal sector, the New York Times reported. Makeshift businesses such as Farouk Salem’s cart selling ful, a fava bean stew which is a staple of Egyptian cuisine, as chronicled by the New York Times, provide entire families with a meager income to maintain their livelihood. In the informal economy, however, property rights and tenure are not officially recognized, and the poor live in constant fear of the authorities shutting down their unlicensed ventures, which serve as their primary means for survival.

For full story in the New York Times, click here.


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