Definition of Youth

There is no clear age range for youth. According to the 2010 Euromed report on Egypt, the National Council for Youth (NYC), the precursor to the current Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, defined youth as aged 18-30. However, recent programmes by the ministry, such as the cooperation agreement signed with the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas in January 2013, define youth as aged 18-35.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 21
  • 18
  • XX
  • Female
  • 21
  • 16
  • --

  • Homosexual acts between males are illegal. The legislation is unclear on homosexual acts between females. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age


Voting Age


Compulsory voting.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 93.42% Male (15-24) %
  • 88.73% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 82.57%Male %
  • 82.42% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 20.00% Male (13-15) %
  • 3.80% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Egypt has no national youth policy yet. A 2010 youth policy briefing is available.

The 2010 Egypt Human Development Report outlines a proposed National Policy for Youth in Egypt, developed in 2009 by the National Youth Council – the apparent predecessor to the current Ministry of State for Youth Affairs. The proposed policy covered 12 areas: Employment; Political Participation; Education; Health; Population; Culture; Mass Media; Social Activities & Volunteer Work; Social Welfare; Sports & Recreation; Environment, and; Studies and Research. However, there is no indication that a national youth policy was adopted. In April 2013, under the first post-Mubarak revolution cabinet, former Minister of Youth Osama Yassin mentioned that the ministry was discussing the development of a Youth Act and this is mentioned as a “priority initiative” on the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs website.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of State for Youth Affairs is responsible for child and youth development in Egypt. Its strategic goals for 2013-2017 include enhancing political participation of youth, building cultural awareness, and developing training and research on youth. According to the Egypt Independent, the Ministry was a new post within the first cabinet after the 2011 revolution, though seems to have taken over the role of the previous National Council of Youth (NCY), which was the main governmental body in charge of youth programming as described in the 2010 Euromed report.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
Prior to the 2011 revolution, there was a National Council for Youth (NCY), however according to Innovations in Civic Participation, NCY was the government body responsible for youth, rather than a representative youth council. NCY appears to now be replaced by the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs. It is unclear what formal representation youth will have in post-revolution Egypt. In civil society, the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, composed of youth from a variety of parties and movements, was instrumental in the revolution though was dissolved in July 2012.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
The total draft budget for youth, culture and religious affairs for 2012/2013 is EGP 20.4 million (USD 3 million), however it is unclear how much of this budget is spent specifically on youth. According to the World Bank, Egypt spent 11.93% of its government expenditure and 3.76% of its GDP on education provision in 2008. This is the last recorded calculation by the World Bank.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From Studies on Youth Policies in the Mediterranean Partner Countries: Egypt (2010) (Note: published prior to the 2011 revolution):

In 1999 the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, which was established in 1979, was closed when the Ministry of Youth was established. The latter was dissolved in 2005 when two national councils were established: one for youth and the other for sport  [...]

In December 2005, the Ministry of Youth and Sport was abolished and the National Council for Youth was established (ESIS, Year Book 2006) [...]

The NCY put an action plan for four years (2006-2010) that the Prime Minister ratified, and made an annual evaluation of programmes and projects related to achieving its goals. The decree 425 confirms that all ministries and public agencies and local administrations implement the plans, projects and programmes proposed by the NCY in the field of youth.

From Egypt Human Development Report 2010. Youth in Egypt: Building our Future (2010):

The NYC is responsible for the development and implementation of a plan for youth and the mobilization of human and financial resources to disseminate a youth culture. The Council has produced a document proposing a National Youth Policy focusing on twelve different sector areas as a first step towards a holistic and inclusive reform strategy. At a second stage, it is expected to develop the policies and proposing legislation to define and regulate all youth related activities.

The proposed National Youth Policy for Egypt (Box 1.5) realizes the multi-disciplinary nature of the work that needs to be done to better serve Egyptian youth. It thus mentions that the implementation of the policies will be the responsibility of the various concerned stakeholders. There is also a clear recognition of the inevitable role to be played by the private sector and civil society organizations in formulating and implementing the policies, and this is emphasized in more than one point. What remains, and after the paper is ratified, is a clearer division of roles and responsibilities.

From The Revolutionary Promise: Youth Perceptions in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia (2013):

The massive street protests of 2010-2011 were fueled by the largest ever cohort of under age 30 Arab youth. They had experienced exclusion and ‘waithood’ in all facets of their lives, facing high unemployment, delayed marriages, and restricted access to civic or political roles. Then an opening occurred – a tipping point of anger and new purpose – and in Tunisia then Egypt and then Libya young activists and ordinary kids set out to make their own history. For those who had envisioned an inclusive, tolerant, and non-violent future, the messy postrevolutionary period has been bitterly disappointing [...]

The Egyptian revolution’s demands for socio- economic justice are at the forefront of the concerns of the participants of our study. They challenge the accepted notion that this was a revolution for and towards democracy. Despite electing a president democratically, they stressed that protests and demonstrations did not stop in Egypt and the democratic process has not yet led to stability. An ongoing unfolding of the definition of revolution is being formed as the youth negotiate its boundaries: what triggered it, what it was for, and where it was and is headed. In particular, the study’s participants stressed the importance of recognising social justice as the paramount demand of the revolution. According to this view, the demand for democracy was not the driving force behind the 25 January revolution [...]

Participants described how Egyptian youth have failed to organise themselves into political groups or parties in which they could be actively represented. However, this failure to organise and consolidate is matched by reluctance on the part of political parties to include them. The only prominent youth movement that was able to survive up to the time of writing is the April 6th Youth Movement. More than 35 new political parties were established after 25 January 2011, but only a few have carved out a space for youth.