Egypt Country Overview

Known for its ancient civilisation, the Arab Republic of Egypt is the largest Arab country located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip. It is also home to the river Nile, the longest river in Africa.

Despite Egypt’s mixed record for attracting foreign investment over the past two decades, poor living conditions and limited job opportunities have contributed to public discontent.

Its security situation is dynamic and the threat of terror is quite high, although it is believed that planned attacks are generally aimed at security forces or government buildings. Some tribal militias in the Sinai Peninsula cooperate with the Egyptian military against insurgent/terrorist groups such as the Islamic State. 

Egypt General Information

Capital: Cairo

Language: Arabic (official), Arabic, English, and French widely understood by educated classes.

Religion: Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 90%, Christian (majority Coptic Orthodox, other Christians include Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglican) 10% (2015 est.)

Currency: The Egyptian Pound. The Egyptian Pound is subdivided into smaller currency denomination known as qirsh or millimes.

Cryptocurrency: The Central Bank of Egypt issued a warning in January 2018 against the trading of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, due to the extremely high risk associated with such currencies.  The Central Bank also asserted that commerce within the Arab Republic of Egypt is confined only to the official paper currencies approved by the Bank.

A proposed bill to ban the creation, trading, or promotion of cryptocurrencies without a license is said to be in the works, which could overrule its outright ban.  

GMT:  Egypt Standard Time  is ( GMT+2 ).

Egypt is in Central Africa Time Zone ( CAT ).


About Egypt

The Arab Republic of Egypt is a north African nation bordering Israel, Sudan, Libya and the Gaza Strip. Egypt has a population of 94.04 million people and around 18.8 million alone live within the metropole of the capital, Cairo; Alexandria forms Egypt’s other major urban settlement with 4.78 million inhabitants.

Around 95% of the population lives within 20 kilometres of the Nile and the Nile Delta. Arabic is the lone official language, but in the educated classes and tourist areas English and French are also widely understood. Around 90% of the population are Muslim, with the majority following Sunni Islam, and there is a Christian minority, predominantly of the Coptic Church.

Egypt is viewed as having acceptable to high levels of risk with regards to its business climate and political situation. This risk largely stems from the economic weaknesses and major security issues that Egypt faces. Corruption also poses a major obstacle to business and investment in Egypt; Baksheesh, or bribery, is part of Egyptian’s everyday life. Corruption pervades the economy, judiciary and public sector. As such, Egypt ranks 117 of 180 in Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Index.

Egypt’s GDP was last measurable in 2016 when it stood at US$332.35 billion. Since then Egypt has had moderate growth rates of around 4% annually and real GDP growth is forecast to reach 6% annually by 2021. 

Egypt is a presidential republic, thus executive power is currently held by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is also the chief of state. Meanwhile, the head of government is Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, an office whose holder is appointed by the President and approved by the parliament.

The next presidential election is scheduled for March 2018. The legislative branch of government is formed by the House of Representatives, the Majlis al-Nowaab, with has 596 seats. 448 members are elected by an individual candidacy system, 120 elected in party-list constituencies by simple majority votes and 28 are appointed by the President.

The next legislative elections are due to be held in 2020. Questions have been raised over the fairness of elections since President Morsi’s overthrow, and these will likely continue in the wake of the 2018 Presidential Election, which has no genuine opposition to al-Sisi’s candidacy.



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