Egypt Faces Population Time Bomb

Many experts are predicting the Egyptian population could more than double in fifty years resulting in a population of about 160 million in 2050. President Hosni Mubarak has been warning that unchecked population increases could result in serious damage to any effort of creating a vibrant economy which offered people gainful employment. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi recently told newspapers the number of children parents should have depends on their ability to provide care and support for their children. “Parents should have only as many children as they can provide for.”Islam does not allow permanent methods of birth control but it does allow family planning.

In the last thirty years the population of Egypt has doubled and although the economy has been growing at a rate of seven percent, at least forty percent of the population is living below the poverty level. Minister of State for Family and Population, Mushira Khattab, insists the government can not do anything to hold back births but there must be some reduction or it will upset any plans for raising standards of living.

Reality is that religion at this point stands in the way of economic development. How to resolve this dilemma is the question.