For the last three months, I’ve had the opportunity to be on assignment, through Uber, in Cairo, Egypt. Over these last ~90 days I’ve made a lot of observations that show me that Egypt, until recently an economic powerhouse in Africa, embodies the Youngry mentality.
In a country of almost 90 million people, over 51% of the population is under the age of 25. In contrast, just over 32% of the US population falls in that same bucket.
2. Egypt is fairly well educated
While there’s a significant gap in wealth distribution within Egypt, the population is still among one of the more educated in the region. Those who have money often attend private universities and also go abroad for their education. With that in mind, public universities are free for Egyptians and most of the youth attend institutions of higher learning.
3. Egypt is in a chaotic economic situation
In October of 2016, Egypt experienced a massive devaluation of their currency (the Egyptian Pound). The Central Bank of Egypt made the decision to allow the currency to float freely. For most of 2016, 1 USD equalled about 9 EGP. Almost overnight following the devaluation, that jumped to around 18 EGP to the dollar. This move was made intentionally by the government to spur foreign investment in the country. While this has led to significant hardships for the locals, it is the best time in recent memory to invest in the Egyptian economy.
4. Egypt is hungry
If you’ve visited Egypt recently, the first word that comes to mind is chaos. From a major political revolution in 2011 to the aforementioned devaluation to the incredibly nerve-wracking drivers and traffic, chaos permeates life in Egypt. When you take these ingredients and combine them with an educated youth, you have a natural recipe for hunger and innovation. Cairo is littered with start-ups, incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces. Uber’s office in Egypt is located in the historic Greek Campus of the American University in Cairo (AUC). The campus is home to over a hundred companies ranging from fledgling start ups to multi-national corporations. Every person you come across has a story or an idea to launch their business. Egyptians have an entrepreneurial spirit and are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and grind until they achieve their goals.
If you’re looking for a change in scenery whether in your personal or professional life, Egypt has an unbelievable amount to offer. Egypt was one of the birthplaces of civilization has an unbelievably rich history. Bordered by both the Mediterranean and Red Sea, Egypt is also home to some incredible beaches and diving.