Dean Rohrer

Los jóvenes inquietos del mundo árabe

NUEVA YORK – Muchos factores están detrás de los continuos levantamientos en Oriente Medio: décadas de régimen corrupto y autoritario, sociedades cada vez más alfabetizadas y digitalmente conectadas y precios de los alimentos mundiales por las nubes. Para colmo, en todo Oriente Medio (así como en el África subsahariana y en gran parte del sur de Asia), el rápido crecimiento de la población está alimentando enormes presiones demográficas.

La población de Egipto, por ejemplo, cuando menos se duplicó en el transcurso del régimen de Hosni Mubarak, de 42 millones en 1980 a 85 millones en 2010. Este crecimiento es más remarcable aún dado que Egipto es un país desértico y sus habitantes viven hacinados a lo largo del Nilo. Sin lugar para extenderse, las densidades poblacionales están aumentando hacia un punto de quiebre. El Cairo se ha convertido en una región que se expande descontroladamente con unos 20 millones de personas que viven codo con codo, con una infraestructura inadecuada.

El rápido crecimiento de la población significa una población joven desbordante. De hecho, la mitad de la población de Egipto tiene menos de 25 años. Egipto, como decenas de países en todo el mundo, enfrenta el desafío extremo –y ampliamente en falta- de asegurar un empleo productivo y remunerado para sus jóvenes.

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