The Role in the Egyptian Economy of the Relationship between Land Ownership and the Informal and Private Sectors

By Mahmoud Farouk  & Adel Elhemaily, the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies [1]

Overview of the Egyptian economy

After years of political upheaval that left the economy in tatters, Egypt has made progress in restoring confidence. Recent policy choices include measures designed to induce more dynamic investment and spur much needed private-sector job creation. The reform of fuel subsidies has been a notable achievement.[2]

The political transition process initiated in June 2013 came to an end with the election of the House of Representatives in December 2015. The economy started to recover in 2014/15, as the government scaled up infrastructure spending and undertook important measures to restore macroeconomic stability by moving away from universal subsidies towards a more targeted transfer program, taking measures to contain the wage bill and increasing tax revenues.  

As such, growth rebounded to 4.2 percent in 2014, double the growth during the previous four years. Preliminary figures for the first quarter of both 2015 and 2016 indicate that the economic uptick has faded somewhat, mainly due to the foreign exchange shortages that stifled production, and undermined Egypt’s competitiveness.

Far-reaching structural reforms are needed to transform Egypt’s economy into a dynamic system that can reduce poverty, create productive employment opportunities, and maintain social and political stability.  Economic growth in the past three decades has been moderate and uneven, and insufficient to reduce poverty or absorb the rapidly growing supply of labor.  Poverty rates have been persistently high, at about one-quarter of the population, concentrated in Rural Upper Egypt, and unemployment remains high, particularly for women and youth.  At the same time, the fiscal deficit is still large, reserves are only at about 3 months of imports, and political and social risks remain because their underlying causes – shortage of formal sector jobs, high unemployment and underemployment among Egyptian youth, and exclusion of poor segments of the population – persist.[3]

Quick Facts:

●      Population: 86.7 million

●      GDP (PPP): $943.1 billion, 2.2% growth in 2014, 5-year compound annual growth rate 2.7%, $10,877 per capita

●      Unemployment: 13.2%

●      Inflation (CPI): 10.1%

●      FDI Inflow: $4.8 billion

●      Public Debt: 90.5% of GDP[4]


Land contribution to economic sectors in Egypt

Land is major contributor to the Egyptian economy. The distribution between different sectors gives it a major importance and makes land ownership one of the most important roles in the economy. The distribution of various sectors usage of land and the investments in them can fall mainly in four different usages:

●      Industrial Investment

●      Tourism investment

●      Real estate investment

●      Agricultural investment


Economic growth in Egypt has been held back by a severely limited amount of affordable land (less than 5% of the total area) as well as a large and rapidly growing population. The country's industrial base increased considerably in the 20th century, especially after 1952. The state owns much of the economy and plays a decisive role in its planning; however, in recent years Egypt has moved toward a more decentralized, market-oriented economy, and there has been an increase in foreign investment.

The country's farmland is intensively cultivated (usually two, and sometimes three, crops are produced annually) and yields-per-acre are extremely high. Control of the Nile waters by the Aswan High Dam brought considerable additional land into cultivation, but the needs of the growing population have prevented the accumulation of significant agricultural surpluses[5]

Numbers and Facts:

●      Agriculture - Products: cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats

●      Land Use: arable land: 2.87% ; permanent crops: 0.79% ; other: 96.34% (2011)

●      Irrigated Land: 34,220 sq km (2003)[6]



●      GDP From Agriculture                  49.0319/9.476   EGP Billion/USD Billion

●      GDP From Construction               22.3925/2.859  EGP Billion/USD Billion 

●      GDP From Manufacturing            74.196/ 9.474    EGP Billion/USD Billion

●      GDP from Tourism                         7.50                                                   USD Billion

●      Foreign direct investment            3.156                            USD Billion[7]


Access to public land and private ownership

1-     Access to and Development of public Land for Industrial Investment

Today, an investor seeking to access public land in Egypt for developing an industrial manufacturing project has the choice of several predetermined locating options;

●      Public free zones operated by the Ministry of investment’s General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI), of which there are seven established zones.

●      Industrial zones in new cities/urban communities controlled and operated by independent authorities affiliated with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development’s New Urban Communities Authority – NUCA

●      Planned industrial zones in existing cities

●      Special Economic Zones (SEZ)


The main problem with the existing system of access to public land for industrial investment projects is that it is largely State or supply driven rather than a demand driven system in which the investor chooses where to locate subject to existing zoning regulations.  In effect, the system consists of the State making available for investors serviced industrial lands in specific locations with predetermined land areas and often specific eligible industrial uses, while at the same time making location elsewhere legally impermissible or highly impractical due to extensive bureaucracy and high cost.

The government policy of restricting and/or biasing through the incentive system the location of industrial investments in New Urban Communities or in such remote areas as Toshka represents an inherent bias against Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which need to be near their markets and to attract and retain workers by minimizing transportation costs.  In addition, SMEs, which need less land and favor higher development density for their operations, are faced with restrictive planning and building regulations that impose a high cost on them such as 50% land coverage and minimum parcel sizes of 800-1,000 square meters[8].

2-     Access to and Development of Public Land for Tourism Investment

Tourism in Egypt is today one of the most important pillars for economic growth.  According to recent statistics, the tourism industry has become the top foreign currency generating sector in the Egyptian economy and is considered by the Government as the most promising industry in terms of job creation potential in the near future.  The Ministry of Planning and Local Development notes that the hotels and restaurants sector contributed 10.4 billion EGP in FY 2003-2004 or 2.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and has achieved the highest rate of growth of all sectors of the economy that for the second consecutive year.

This is despite that the tourism sector has only received 2.5% of total investments in FY 2003-2004.  The tourism sector also has a relatively well developed infrastructure in terms of hotel rooms and facilities

Given the sector’s strong growth potential, the issue of access to public land for tourism development becomes a critical component for enabling growth, attracting investment and ensuring sustainability.  This note focuses only on tourism development projects in coastal zones (resorts, hotels, etc).  It does not cover other types of tourism such as archeological or cultural heritage-related, which has a very different context since most archeological sites are clustered along the Nile Valley and fall under the administration of the Ministry of Culture’s Supreme Council of Antiquities

As with other sectors, tourism development is characterized by multiple government authorities involved in the public land allocation and development process in what amounts to a complex institutional landscape characterized by overlapping authority and lack of coordination.  In general, the institutional and legal framework governing access to and development of public land for tourism development in coastal areas is subdivided in two categories according to the location vis-à-vis the Zimam (the cordon of coastal cities):  

Outside the Zimam the process is mainly managed by the Ministry of Tourism’s Tourism Development Authority (TDA).  However, other central governmental entities such as the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) and some holding companies affiliated to the Ministry of Investment play a role, especially in the northwestern coastal area of the Mediterranean Sea. Inside the Zimam the process is mainly managed by the coastal governorates (Red Sea, North Sinai, South Sinai, Matrouh, and Alexandria) in coordination with other central government entities, especially the Ministry of Defense and Military Production (MODMP).

Beyond the institutional complexity which investors must confront, there are a series of rigid regulations which must be complied with in order to be eligible to invest in tourism development that were outlined in Prime Ministerial Decree No. 2908 of 1995.  These regulations govern various aspects of land disposition by TDA including: the length of usufruct or lease contracts (which cannot exceed 25 years); demand that investors pay the full cost of infrastructure delivery for the project; and a requirement that the investor be an Egyptian shareholding company with capital no less than 50% of the total investment cost of the project.  For companies incorporated under Investment Law No.8 of 1997 (tourism development is one of the eligible sectors for investment guarantees and incentives), no restrictions apply on nationality as in the Decree, which is incompatible with the aim of attracting investment in the sector[9].

3-     Access to and Development of Public Land for Real Estate Investment

Real estate development refers to large scale developments that require land subdivision plans (and permits) and which are mostly mixed-use developments (mainly including residential and commercial uses, services, amenities, etc).  This is considered one of the main channels for investment in Egyptian cities and new urban communities, which represent a market with strong demand due to the large population and growth rate.  The practice goes back to the pioneer Heliopolis District project, built by the Belgian investor Baron Empain in 1905 at the eastern outskirts of Cairo.  The success of this project led to many other private-sector led development projects, including Maadi District, and subsequently to Egypt’s first public sector-financed and implemented real estate development projects during the 1950’s in Mohandessin and Nasr City

The rationale behind the previously mentioned projects was to create massive developments instituting self-contained districts that accommodate different social classes. However, a second generation of real estate has emerged in the 1990s with a radical change in the developmental concept driving the new communities away from heavily-subsidized housing schemes for the urban poor and into private sector-led real estate projects aimed at the middle and upper middle income demand markets. A large number of real estate projects have been constructed within the new communities, especially those around Greater Cairo in addition to a smaller number of projects constructed within the cordon of existing cities especially Cairo, Giza and Alexandria. Accordingly, the analysis of access to land for real estate is analyzed within both the new urban communities and in the Zimam cordon.

Access to land for real estate development is organized by: (i) the New Urban Communities Authority "NUCA" which is mainly responsible for state owned desert land allocated for new cities and other potential development state areas outside Zimam; and (ii) the Governorates responsible for this type of development within the Zimam.  

Currently, there are 20 new cities and urban communities which have been developed over the past 25 years providing housing to more than 1.5 million inhabitants. In addition, according to the National Plan for Development and Reconstruction set by the General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP), the planned locations for an additional 44 new urban communities have been set, as such providing a rich source of potential future investments in the coming decades. Locations of these cities have been proposed based on the overall development policy in addition to several technical criteria concerning site selection, soil suitability, topography and other factors.

Under the current legal framework for real estate development governing the existing 20 new urban communities, only five cities managed to attract private sector investment.  Ranked in terms of their success in attracting private sector investment, they are: 6th of October, New Cairo, Sheikh Zaied, El-Ubour and El-Shrouk. All of these cities are located around Greater Cairo. Although this might be explained as a result of high demand for housing within the area, recent statistics have shown that more than 40% of the housing units built within these new settlements are vacant and a huge number of land acquired for residential development has not been developed for several years. This situation reflects the issues facing real estate development and questions whether the current policy practices are adequately meeting market demand, or in effect creating unwanted results such as the exacerbation of land speculation.    

The remaining 15 new cities and communities are still struggling to attract interested clients for real estate development and/or residents.  The main reason for the failure to attract target groups to settle and invest in these new cities is the absence of market-based mechanisms such as housing market studies that can help to avoid supply-driven situations where huge investments are allocated for housing that is later left vacant. 

In addition, the situation at hand also points to the lack of a national policy framework governing the management of public land assets, specifically in terms of policies and procedures for disposing of, valuing and leveraging public lands for the achievement of specific objectives.  Clear examples illustrating the issues at stake are the new cities in southern Egypt, the majority of which have come about as a direct response to political pressures from the Popular Elected Councils in these governorates—aiming to gain political ground in their jurisdictions. Without a market analysis carried out to determine the real need for these new settlements and in the absence of a strategy they are growing slowly as a result of affordability issues by end beneficiaries. The main land development activity within these cities is limited to individual acquisition of small parcels for individual residences.[10]

4-      Access to and Development of Public Land for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Investment

The agricultural sector in Egypt continues to be the dominating economic activity, absorbing the largest percentage of the country’s labor force.  The latest Egypt country profile reports that although the share of agriculture in nominal GDP fell from 25.6% to 13.9% of GDP between FY1985-86 and FY2004-05, the sector continues to be the country’s largest employer accounting for about 28% of the labor force today despite a drop in recent year

The combination of very rapid population growth during the second half of the 20th century and a geographically limited arable area around the Nile Valley and in the Delta Region (the total settled and arable land area within the Zimam constitutes only 4.5% of Egypt’s total land area) led the Government to embark, since the 1960s, on a policy of reclaiming desert land for agriculture.  This policy aimed to compensate for the loss of agricultural land resulting from informal urban encroachment in the Nile valley and Delta, and to increase food production to meet the demands of a rapidly-growing population amidst concerns over food security.   [11]

Today, Egypt’s agricultural sector includes some 3.5 million farmers cultivating small landholdings averaging 2 acres (0.84 ha).  Only 3% of Egypt’s total land area is arable, of which about one-third is served by main and secondary surface irrigation drains that are, for the most part, in dire need of repair.  Irrigation systems are faced with problems due to high soil salinity as a result of the rise in the water table following the construction of the High Dam.  In addition, only 2% of the eight million acres of cultivated land are irrigated using modern agricultural technologies.  The cultivated area in Egypt increased by 22%, from 6.2 to 8 million acres in the 1982-2000 period.  Agriculture continues to be a highly subsidized sector, especially with irrigation water provided free of charge by the Government.  Yet, despite all such efforts, rapid population growth makes Egypt a large food importer.  In FY2004-05, food imports accounted for 11.6% of total imports, having accounted for an increase of 10.1% of government spending from the previous year.


Informal Land ownership

Informal land ownership has been one of the major problems facing the Egyptian economy and standing in the way of sensible and attainable reform. Claims of informal land ownership and what was called dead capital was estimated in 2001 to be around USD 240 billion. To put this number into perspective, Egypt’s GDP in 2013 was USD 272 billion according to the World Bank.[12]

Geographical distribution and numbers

A study done by the Auguste Comte Center in the early 1980s suggested that illegal land ownership and building on public lands accounted for 60-70% of all building activities in Egypt. While more recent studies, as done by the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) and the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) in Peru, claim that 92% of homes in urban areas and 87% of land in rural areas, altogether 64% of all land ownership in Egypt, are considered under informal ownership, and that the value of such properties amounts to 240 billion USD. To put that into perspective this value is at least 30 times the market value of all companies registered in Egypt’s stock exchange, 55 times the value of foreign investment until the year 1996, 116 times the value of public sector companies privatized between 1992 and 1996 and 6 times the amount of savings in all commercial banks in Egypt.[13]

Again according to ECES, which refers to all constructions and properties in urban areas as “dwellings “ the total value of dwelling units in Egypt is US$ 277 billion with the informal sector coming at a total value of USD 195.2 billion. As for rural Egypt, studies suggest that the estimated value for all agricultural land in Egypt is USD 99.2 billion. With the informal agricultural land property estimated to be about USD 46.2 billion[14]

The registration of all private immovable property in Egypt is required under this legislative and institutional framework in order to be considered legally owned. Indeed, there are penalties on the books for non-registration, but these are never applied. The bureaucratic and clerical requirements of the property registration system are cumbersome and complicated, labyrinthine even, and bribes at the registration offices as well as at the Survey Authority are quite routine. In order for a property transaction to be registered, a clear chain of titles from the last time the property was entered into the registry—usually when it had been part of a larger agricultural parcel—is required. For most properties in informal urban areas, and even for most formal properties, establishing this chain, which usually goes back decades, is simply impossible. In 2005, a large USAID technical assistance project began, aimed in part at improving property registration for mortgage purposes, and an early finding was that the registry system was hopelessly flawed. One report summarized the situation as follows: “The current condition of Egypt’s real-property registration system can best be described as onerous and complex for applicants, vastly underutilized, excessively bureaucratic and complex, misunderstood and unpopular with the public, and incapable in its current form of promoting a real-estate mortgage finance market”.[15]

The result has been that very few owners bother adhering to the property registration regime and, over the decades, the system has become less and less relevant. For example, a study by the ILD (an organization founded by property-rights dogmatist Hernando de Soto) estimated that, of a total of some 4.5 million dwelling units in Cairo existing in 1996, a full 70% were informal and unregistered. Only 27% could be considered formal, and of these only a fraction had had their registration kept up to date (ILD and ECES 2000). Even the Minister of Justice admitted, in 2005, that only 7% to 10% of properties in Egypt were registered.[16]

Legalizing and Maneuvers to avoid penalties and lawful actions

How are the properties in Greater Cairo transferred and how is ownership documented? The answer is that a number of quasi-legal or informal procedures have evolved that conveniently sidestep the official registration system and allow for relatively straightforward, quick, and inexpensive means of concluding a property transfer. These mainly use
customary contracts, which are simple two-party sales contracts that must be witnessed by two persons. For many, these simple paper contracts are sufficient, but for more security it is possible to have these contracts endorsed in the courts under the proof of signature (saha towqia) procedure or the more stringent proof and immediate work procedure, either of which can be arranged by any lawyer for a small fee. Alternatively, the seller of a property can issue a power of attorney (tawkil) to the buyer, transferring all ownership rights over the property, and then this tawkil can be endorsed—just as in the case of the sale of a car—at any registration office, under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice. Such systems of transfer are used not only by the individual buyers and sellers who dominate Cairo’s housing markets but also by government agencies and private companies selling new units. Sometimes public institutions would refuse the request to grant electric or water lines and inform the owner to steal them, then when penalties are ensued, a formal reconciliation is done and with it he gains a semi-formal status.

Despite tremendous efforts in recent years to improve official property registration in order to facilitate the expansion of new mortgage-based housing finance, especially for housing developments in new towns, informal property-transfer workarounds remain very much the norm in Egypt, both in formal and informal urban areas. They are not perfect, and fraud is a possibility: there are few safeguards to prevent an owner from selling the same property more than once, for example. But for most transactions they are sufficient, since such systems minimize dealings with the government, depend on personal relations and guarantees, and are both less expensive and more convenient. At the moment, anyone requesting to purchase land has to go through 77 bureaucratic procedures in 31 public and private entities which could take between 7 and 14 years[17].

Proposed Solutions

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab invited the Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto to discuss the problem in early 2015, he suggested land titling.

De Soto’s theory is straightforward and alluring. He argues that many poor people are successful “entrepreneurs” but lack the tools to expand their businesses. In other words, he claims that most residents in informal areas not only face demolition and forced eviction, but they also cannot access formal credit systems because they do not own the land title that gives them legal claim to their property. Property is the most common form of collateral when acquiring a loan from a formal lending institution in most countries. Without legal proof of ownership, residents cannot take loans to leverage the so-called “dead” capital locked in their informally owned property. Therefore, providing land titles to the urban poor would give them proof of ownership, grant them access to formal credit markets, convert their “dead” capital into assets and allow them to participate in formal economic life. In short, securing land titles would release them from the grip of poverty. As Mitchell describes “creating property owners [supposedly] offered a simple and inexpensive means to end widespread poverty”[18].

Among the other benefits from land titling is security of tenure. Tenure security guarantees residents the right to remain in their homes and provides incentive for people to invest in their properties which then increase in value[19].  Even without additional investment in their properties, their value would increase anyway once formalized. Again, this would give such homeowners the option to exchange their assets for capital if needed. Some researchers have argued that titling schemes are even beneficial to the state, since they are a much less expensive option than resettlement, especially if new settlements need to be built and serviced to house residents living in existing informal areas[20]. Proponents of land titling also argue its importance in protecting families from forced eviction. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Fact Sheet No.25 states that “the provision of legal land title to dwellers currently lacking such protection can go a long way towards preventing forced evictions”[21].

Residents living without tenure interviewed by TADAMUN said that in their eyes, the most important benefit likely to come from formalization is official recognition of their area as part of the city. Residents of two informal areas linked this recognition as part of being considered  legitimate citizens, it protects their right to demand services without having to constantly negotiate with (and bribe) local authorities.

Arguments against Land Titling

Just as many arguments have been made to support land titling, many have also highlighted its shortcomings. One argument states that titling projects benefit state budgets (through the selling of land titles) more than they benefit the poor[22]. Another argument points out that formalization could likely lead to a rise in housing values, causing severe gentrification in formalized areas and ultimately pushing out the poorest segments in the community such as mentioned in a study done on America’s rental housing[23]. One final argument claims that incorporating informal land into the formal economy benefits comparatively wealthier residents but can be disastrous for poorer ones[24]

Titling projects can also sometimes result in land-grabbing and forced evictions, especially in countries with a high incidence of corruption. For example, a 2011 report by the Bank Information Center claims that a World Bank land-titling project in Cambodia was not adequately supervised, and thus some of the poorest families were arbitrarily denied titles. After the inadequate implementation of the land titling component, the Cambodian government granted a private company a 99-year lease over the land and more than 20,000 people who had been living on the land for years were consequently accused of squatting illegally and risked forced eviction[25].

One of the studies argues that it is unreasonable to expect property titles to guarantee residents living in informal areas access to formal credit services because such services often exclude the urban poor as a whole. The only way the urban poor can gain access to formal credit is through legal and institutional reform and by ensuring that banks have small-credit products tailored to the needs of the poor. This argument is also supported by several on-the-ground experiences. For example, a 1994 study in Kenya and Tanzania found that land titling had barely any impact on investment or credit markets. Thus, the study concluded land titling to be “unimportant for development”[26].

De Soto himself tested out his theories in his home country of Peru through a project[27] that started in 1998 in cooperation with the World Bank and initially aimed to register properties of around 960,000 homes in the informal housing sector. Reviews of the project’s impact by three researches[28] [29] [30] found that it had “no significant effect on access among the poor to business credit” (Mitchell, 2005). One of the aforementioned studies found that while investment in household renovations did increase, most of these investments occurred without accessing any credit. In fact, mortgage lending to the poor did not increase until after the government began subsidizing low-income lending .

Expected Impacts of Land Titling in Egypt

In addition to pricing complications, the various titling projects discussed above demonstrate how administrative and political constraints can diminish the efficacy of these programs. The bureaucracy of most government programs requires applicants to submit multiple applications to multiple entities, creating a long, arduous, and often expensive process. Civil servants appointed to handle such applications are often under-paid and have very little incentive to handle the process efficiently. Even when these issues were addressed during the GIZ project described above, there is still the task of getting residents to trust the process and to believe it will actually be beneficial to them.

Moreover, due to the sheer quantity of informal settlements across Egypt and the distinct character of each, land titling programs tend to be a heavy burden on governmental agencies. Whole departments must be formed in order to create cadastral maps, appraise properties, process applications, and manage the registration process. As a result, the process, although seemingly straightforward, can be enormously inefficient and take long periods of time.

Finally, the ambiguity of ownership in informal contexts sometimes leads to land disputes among residents themselves, as well as disputes between government agencies in the case of state-owned land. In light of widespread corruption, limited funding, and vague legal frameworks, administrative bodies tend to be weak and inefficient. Due to these factors land titling projects usually don’t produce their expected impact.[31]

Unsustainable Economic Renaissance

Because the Egyptian government has identified property and construction as main drivers in its plan to revitalize the economy, policies improving affordability should take center stage. However, this has not been the case. Egypt’s 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy, prepared over the last six months as a vision for the country’s medium- and long-term economic approach, has framed the housing crisis as one of production, setting a goal of building 7.5 million homes over the next 15 years. Nowhere in its pages is there mention of affordability.

At the March 2015 Egypt Economic Development Conference, the first stages of the Egypt 2030 strategy were implemented, as NUCA signed $12.7 billion in real estate deals with Arab developers and the Government launched the $45 billion new administrative capital near Cairo that includes vast amounts of real estate. These projects point to the resurgence of an unsustainable speculative land market similar to what occurred from 2007 until the revolution; no measures have been taken to avert another precipitous rise in prices.

In fact, the much-anticipated new investment law—Law 17/2015—ratified by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on the eve of the conference continued the process of deregulation, removing the last remaining restrictions on foreign ownership of land and property in Egypt. The new law also allows the government to directly assign, for free, state-owned land to the private sector as part of public-private partnership schemes. Indeed, the minister of housing recently announced that—based on its land ownership—the government will hold a 24 percent equity share in the new capital project.

In conclusion, aside from the subsequent effects that these real estate projects will have on property prices, the interest in public and private cooperation by the government clearly aims to raise land prices, the NUCA “New Urban Communities Authority” being its largest landowner and property developer, with a share of the profits expected to be generated from these projects.  However the lack of viable mechanisms to pass shares of the profit to Egyptians mean affordability will be further eroded.

The social housing project that was supposed to receive budget surplus from NUCA in addition to 1% from its revenue of land sales, however the lines or revenue from one of these was cancelled and the other reduced as an amendment to the social housing law after the Economic Development Conference deleted the article diverting surplus from NUCA to the fund under the pretext that it would severely affect the state budget.

 Further, the new public-private partnerships involve no sale of land, thereby eliminating the value that could be diverted to the fund in the form of a tax levied on land sales.  For Egypt to truly have a working and sustainable development strategy, it must address the crisis of affordability by enacting policies to regulate the real-estate and developing a well-funded housing program,  Otherwise, the strategy will only ensure the sustainability of informal, inadequate housing for most Egyptians.[32]








[1] Mahmoud Farouk is the Executive Director of the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies. He graduated from Law School at the Cairo University and is member of the Egyptian Bar Association. He is a devoted human rights defender and part of the Front to Defend Egyptian Protestors network which provides legal assistants and pro-bono services to human rights activists.

Mahmoud has participated and led numerous initiatives to advocate democratic values within Egyptian society, through his work at Horrytna Radio with the Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies (AITAS), and the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth (EULY).

Mahmoud also has a particular interest in issues of economic reform and has published research papers on economic liberalism as well as discussed ideas of liberalism in many local and international newspapers and TV channels. In 2009, under his team leadership at EULY, the organization won the Templeton Freedom Award for Special Achievement by Young Institutes, granted by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.


Adel Elhemaily is a researcher in the properties program at the Egyptian center for public policy studies, he is involved in researching the different types of properties in Egypt diversifying between land, real estate and intellectual properties, in an effort to produce a set of policies to be worked with In order to improve and activate property rights. He graduated with a B.A in veterinary sciences, and during college years participated in many student activities such as: Model of European Union, Model of American congress and International model of United Nations.

He has worked as human resources and development trainer and a lecturer about different political subjects, especially foreign policy. He interned in the office of Senator Jon Tester under the department of homeland security and governmental affairs in the U.S Senate where he reviewed bills that were discussed and spotlight issues on the floor of the congress, besides also attending hearing sessions regarding some crucial topics. He also attended many seminars and workshops, such include: conflict simulation and peaceful conflict resolution in Berlin, Germany.







[8] The work bank report no. 36520, volume 2, chapter 2.

[9] The work bank report no. 36520, volume 2, chapter 3.

[10] The work bank report no. 36520, volume 2, chapter 4.

[11] The work bank report no. 36520, volume 2, chapter 5.













[24] "Séjourné, Marion. Les politiques récentes de” traitement” des quartiers illégaux au Caire: nouveaux enjeux et configuration du système d’acteurs?. Diss. Tours, 2006." Cairo Contested: Governance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity, Diane Singerman










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