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Un siècle de recensements en Égypte (1882-1996)

François Moriconi-Ébrard
Hala Bayoumi

One Century of Censuses in Egypt (1882-1996)

3. Objective and benefits of the product

Texte intégral

3.1. Technical contribution

3.1.1. A map support in geographical coordinates at the scale of Egypt

1Egypt has many specialized highly performing bodies in the domain of production of statistics such as CAPMAS, as well as in the production of maps such as SURVEY. However, as is the case in the majority of modern countries, these bodies work independently from each other, and they produce results which are not directly compatible between them.

2For the first time in the history of Egypt, the CD “One Century of Censuses” integrates statistical data in a geographic information system (GIS) that covers the whole country.

3.1.2. Conformity with the terrestrial coordinates

3The CD integrates transformation algorithms of the project systems (Lambert) and national reference points (the Soudan-Libyan frontiers). While maintaining the specificity of the Egyptian parameters of the projection, the map support is thus compatible with the uni-versal system of coordinates representation (degree in 1/1000m, Greenwich meridian), in such a way that the maps could be integrated to an international database in the future.

3.1.3. Joining demographic, economic, socio-economic, socio-demographic, geographic and physical data

4Between the years 1882 and 1996, Egypt had carried out 12 censuses of the population.

5The information published at the local level (nâhya, shiyâkha) cover around 5600 spatial units. The database structure had permitted to examine the diversity of this information (population, age, gender, employment, etc.) by allowing the follow-up of a variable over the time (history) as well as over the space (geography).

3.1.4. Transliteration of the names in Latin characters

6The official publications of the censuses are available only in Arabic characters. Which is the official language in Egypt. For the purpose of the CD; a rigorous transcription of toponyms was adopted on the basis of the official documents. This resulted in that the information was for the first time available in Arabic as well as in Latin characters.

3.1.5. The basis for a historical archive

7The method of data archiving offers not only a historical perspective, but also a perspective for the future. This is obtained by authorizing information updating. The modifications that came up concerning the demarcation of the local units (resulting from the creation of new qarya/shiyâkha, or merging or change of status) were carefully itemized, as well as the different higher administrative levels. (markaz, qism, muhâfaza...).

3.2. Scientific value

3.2.1. Knowledge about the territory and the Egyptian society

  • Create a work platform providing the possibility of studying the phenomena independently of the usual constraints related to the scattered information sources (different censuses, different volumes for each census)

  • Acquire a deeper knowledge of the socio-economic or demographic population structures in Egypt down to the finest geographical level.

  • Offer an analysis tool with the capability of structuring and integrating different levels of spatial resolution (from local to national), that adapts to the needs of each problematic. This could also be reframed in larger geographic sets (region, whole country) as well as to relocate the essential historical phases of development in the country.

  • Enhance the comparative approach for a better understanding of the local, regional and national specificity, and their correlation of socio-economic, political, natural or social order.

3.2.2. To explore afield of knowledge

  • Expose unpublished views of the Egyptian population by means of exhaustive maps of the local data.

  • Enhance the new technologies in space recognition due to the national and exhaustive dimension of the base and its high degree of spatial resolution (5300 spatial units). The CD “One Century of Censuses” will permit the Egyptian research institutions to apprehend the study of their territory by means of the most recent technologies.

  • Put the geography in the intersection of the sciences that are connected to it (history, demography, economy, political sciences...) by proposing new material that integrates the spatial dimension of the phenomena or the object of the study (distances, surfaces, density, accessibility...).

3.2.3. Designing the results

  • Optimizing the possibility of taking into account different observation scales in the study of each phenomenon (from the micro-regional to the international scale).

  • – Strengthening the means of fundamental research in the domain of human Sciences. This is done by offering a material that is suited for both the demands of the quantitative approach and the empirical reality of the objects that are constructed, specifically for the social sciences research.

  • Stimulating the formulation of inductive theoretical models that privilege the realities and the empirical constraints of the space.

3.3. Development objectives

3.3.1. Enhance the value of heritage

8Egypt benefits of an old tradition in the census matter. The importance and the quality of the production of the institutions, from which CAPMAS benefit, is completely comparable to that of the most developed European countries.

9The organization, financing and publishing of 12 censuses established from end to end, represents a real national heritage to be conserved, to develop, and to be pursued in the perspective of sustainable development.

3.3.2. The research vitality in Egypt

10By developing a national archive on its own land on the basis of electronic technology, Egypt ensures the research vitality in the same way of the big modem countries (Japan, United Sates, and France).

3.3.3. Openness on the world of enterprising

11The CD answers the social questions on bot topics such as: urbanization, coastal issues, the urban expansion, metropolization and regionalization. It contributes in the actual development in using GIS systems in public professional environments (ministries, muhâfaza, agencies) in addition to the private environments (marketing, information, etc.). The CD “One Century of Censuses” constitutes a bridge between the research media (geographers, historians, demographers and cartographers) and the action (national institutes, NGO, etc.)

3.3.4. A cooperation tool

12The CD is an excellent example of achieving international cooperation between France (CEDEJ) and Egypt (CAPMAS/GIS DEPARTMENT).

© CEDEJ - Égypte/Soudan, 2019

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