Egypt in Transition

By Jean Lacouture; Simonne Lacouture et al. | Go to book overview

V
Industrialization and Social Problems

A survey of Egypt's population problems and agricultural development shows that the building up of industry could alone answer all its economic and human problems and ensure the country's food and independence. But at the same time it can be seen that neither its natural resources nor its structure favours Egypt's becoming an industrial nation.

It is natural that the military government's first care has been to set up a Production Committee whose main task is to speed industrial development. But it was only at the beginning of 1956 that Nasser set up the Planning Committee to synchronize agricultural and industrial policy after experience had shown that, in a country whose structure is essentially agricultural, industry can only develop in close harmony with the development of the land. This attempt at planned economy is still cautious, but as much as the diplomatic situation it has helped to knit Egypt and the Eastern countries more closely together. In the past two years, in the course of many journeys and missions to China, Russia, Poland and Czechoslovakia, Egyptian engineers, businessmen and economists have become convinced that some planning of the national economy could and must be achieved.

Of all the advice given to the government between 1954 and 1956, that of the Polish economist Oscar Lange was given most attention. But before being able to formulate an overall policy the Egyptian technicians had to make a systematic survey of agricultural resources, industrial potential, the population's needs and the demographic problem. None of all this had been done before. This lack of basic information partly explains the slowness of government planning, and we already know that a fifteen-year Plan has been drawn up with a view to industrializing the country on a co-operative basis.

Of course, Egyptian industry is not an invention of its military leaders. Arriving in Cairo, one is struck by the huge industrial districts of Bulaq and Shubra, or in Alexandria by the great

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Egypt in Transition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Contents 7
  • Illustrations 8
  • Introduction - Egyptian Continuity And Revolutions 11
  • Part One - The Awakening of Egypt 37
  • I - The Advent of Bonaparte 39
  • II - Mohamed Ali Creates a State 50
  • III - The Cotton Boom 56
  • IV - A Revolution in Irrigation 60
  • V - The Adventurous Khedive 63
  • VI - The Arabi Revolt 69
  • VII - The Reformers 74
  • VIII - British Technocracy 78
  • IX - The 1919 Revolution 82
  • X - The Wafd 86
  • XI - Making the Best of War -- 1939 97
  • XII - The Burning of Cairo 105
  • Part Two - The Officers' Republic 123
  • I - A Short History of the 'Free Officers' Movement 125
  • II - Power -- to What Purpose? 160
  • III - Neguib's Fall 179
  • IV - The Structure of Nasser's State 192
  • V - The 'Diplomacy' of Small Nations 196
  • VI - The Political Parties 240
  • VII - Revolutionary Tendencies, 1952-57 275
  • VIII - Not a Real Revolution. 292
  • Part Three - Working Life in The Valley 307
  • I - The Land and Its Men 309
  • II - The Agrarian Reform 340
  • III - The Problem of Over-Population 357
  • IV - Economic Growing-Pains 362
  • V - Industrialization and Social Problems 367
  • VI - The Aswan Dam Problem 388
  • Part Four - Forging a Society 397
  • I - Cairo -- City of Convulsions 399
  • II - In Search of a National Culture 413
  • III - Egypt, Islam and the Modern World 430
  • Part Five - The Great Test 451
  • I - Nasser as He Really Is 453
  • II - The Suez Crisis 467
  • III - The Franco-British Invasion 481
  • IV - Egypt Carries On 493
  • V - The 'United Arab State' 505
  • A Chronology of Modern Egypt 515
  • Reading List 519
  • Index 523
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