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|17 May, 2018

Egypt's baby boom needs a pumped-up economy

Egypt’s economy needs to grow by at least 7.5 per cent a year to lift living standards for a surging population

A customer exchanges U.S. dollars to Egyptian pounds in a foreign exchange office in central Cairo, Egypt December 27, 2016.

A customer exchanges U.S. dollars to Egyptian pounds in a foreign exchange office in central Cairo, Egypt December 27, 2016.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Identifying population growth as one the biggest challenges, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi acknowledged the state had failed to persuade people to rein in birth rates, according to Bloomberg.

With 96 million people living in the country and at least four million abroad, Egypt’s population increases by an estimated 2.5 million citizens each year, thought they won’t be able to feel the benefits of economic growth if the “rate isn’t appropriate,” El-Sisi said at a youth conference.

The comments follow the Government’s attempt to implement a broad International Monetary Fund-backed program to cut costs and boost investments while not overburdening a nation where around

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The reforms, which include a 2016 decision to scrap currency controls and cut fuel subsidies, have helped bring in foreign funds and raise economic growth that’s targeted to reach 5.8 per cent in the financial year starting 1 July, and further subsidy reductions are expected soon, Bloomberg said.

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