Dean Rohrer

Pourquoi l’Egypte devrait inquiéter la Chine

BERKELEY – Une interprétation purement économique des évènements en Tunisie et en Egypte serait trop simpliste – même si un tel exercice est très tentant pour un économiste. Ceci étant dit, il ne fait aucun doute que les soulèvements dans ces deux pays – et ailleurs dans le monde arabe – reflètent pleinement l’inaptitude de leurs gouvernements à partager la richesse.

Le problème n’est pas une incapacité à produire de la croissance économique. En Tunisie comme en Egypte, les autorités ont renforcé leur politique macroéconomique et fait en sorte d’ouvrir leur économie. Leurs réformes ont donné de très bons résultats. La croissance annuelle depuis 1999 est en moyenne de 5,1% en Egypte et de 4,6% en Tunisie. Si ces chiffres sont loin des résultats chinois, ils sont néanmoins comparables à ceux des pays émergeants comme le Brésil et l’Indonésie, aujourd’hui largement considérés comme des succès économiques.

Le problème est plutôt que les bénéfices de la croissance n’ont pas rejailli sur la jeunesse en colère. La proportion de travailleurs âgés de moins de 30 ans est plus forte en Afrique du Nord et au Moyen-Orient que partout ailleurs dans le monde. Leurs perspectives économiques sont proportionnellement plus limitées. Les jeunes diplômés de l’université trouvent peu d’opportunités en dehors des secteurs de la banque et de la finance. Quiconque a voyagé dans cette région a eu l’occasion d’être accompagné par un guide touristique extrêmement instruit et sur-éduqué.

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