Egypt is one of the oldest countries in the world; one of the First civilizations that make up the long history of the development of the human species. It therefore becomes curious to some, why there is contention about its status as a First or Second World country.
Egypt has many superlatives which with to describe it; Egypt has a population of 100 million people, a land area of 1,010,408 km2. Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Arab World, and the Middle East. It is the third largest country in Africa, and the 14th most populous country in the world.
Egypt is a country with a diverse landscape, exquisite culture, and interesting history.
Is Egypt A First World Country?
Egypt is classified as a developing country. This is somewhat a special category among second world countries; it shows that the country has shown signs of soon leaving that classification behind, and upgrading to become a first world country. For a better understanding of this classification, it is important to know its history and how it came to be.
The Origins Of First World Countries
The phrase “First World” countries first came into use in the period leading up to the Cold War. It became very popular during that war, and had a completely political meaning. First World countries at that time meant countries that supported the United States as it fought against the Soviet Union and its allies.
It is common knowledge that the Cold War was an ideological war between the forces of Capitalism and those of Communism. The cause of Capitalists was championed by the US, while that of the Communists was championed by the Soviet Union.
First World countries included countries like US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. These countries had capitalist economies, and were characterized by democratic systems with free societies.
On the other side of the political divide were countries that supported the Soviet Union and its allies; those ones were called the Second World countries, and they included the Soviet Union, Cuba, Romania and Bulgaria.
First World Countries Today
First World countries include the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, and many other countries in Western Europe. These are countries with capitalist economies, but capitalism is not in itself the criteria for inclusion. The change came after the conclusion of the Cold War- the phrase was very popular, but had to be given a new meaning.
The new meaning of First World is “developed countries,” or “industrialized countries,” or simply put; “rich countries.” Countries that fall into this category often have very stable political structures, industrialized economies, and citizens that live comfortably.
They often have high energy demands; leading to high carbon footprints. Rich countries also have high literacy rates, high ratings on the human development index, and high demand for their visas and passports.
Not every country meets up to this categorization; some of the levels on the economic pyramid are discussed below.
Second World Countries
Second World Countries are countries with poverty. Of course, they must have industry but not on a scale comparable to the first world countries.
Second World Countries are mostly located in the eastern part of Europe, although some Second World Countries are also located in Asia, North Africa, and Southern Africa.
Egypt is located in North Africa and is a Second World country. It is designated as a “Developing Nation,” which is a special title given to Second World countries that have shown promise. That designation shows that the countries in question are ready for investment, and that when investors put money into the economy they will not lose it.
Second World countries grapple with poverty, but the availability of industry ensures that the people at least have employment, either in the formal or informal sector. The second world countries have industries but they do not pay as much, and so the people may not enjoy such comforts as their counterparts in more developed countries.
Third World Countries
Third World Countries are those with the least amount of infrastructure, and whose economies are the least developed. Usually, these countries have unstable social and political systems which are quick to go up in flames. These countries are usually located in West and Central Africa.
Third World Countries have the poorest citizens; some of them are dependent on foreign aid. Even when industries are built in these countries, the people are too poor to purchase the products, and as a result the industries soon collapse.
Third World Countries may survive by extracting mineral resources from the ground as most do.
Egypt As A Developing Country
Egypt is a developing country because it has grown dramatically over the last few years; the country was seen as a Third World country only 10 years ago, but has now come into contention to be a First World country. Egypt’s GDP per capita is given as 3,698.83 USD which hardly qualifies are as a wealthy economy.
However, analyzing the chart makes it clear that Egypt’s GDP per capita is growing at a steady pace. It is that steady growth that makes Egypt attractive to investors because they believe that if they invest now, they can enter a fresh, young market, and reap great rewards as it matures.
Egypt’s economy is dependent on several key sectors such as Agriculture, Media, Petroleum, Natural Gas and Tourism. The economy of Egypt is also helped by the thousands of Egyptians working abroad.
Egypt makes a lot of money from its infrastructure; the Suez Canal is one of such infrastructure, others are the impressive road network, and the rail system which is equally impressive. The pyramids, necropolis, and the sphinx can be called a kind of infrastructure; they were built by Egyptians of antiquity, but serve as revenue generating machines today.
Egypt is called a developing country which means it is soon going to be a First World country. Egypt is a country that has been built through the hard work of generations of visionaries. The infrastructure the country depends on for revenue attest to this fact. The country’s progress is impeded by corruption, and by its poor human rights record.