Egyptian architecture and the low-perspective, hieratic styles of Egyptian art have undergone several revivals in the Western world. Various obelisks have been carried off as trophies by colonial powers, or bestowed as gifts by Egyptian leaders, and these stand in a number of locations far from Egypt. The “Cleopatra’s Needles” that stand in London, Paris, and New York City are examples of these transported obelisks. Egyptian architectural motifs appear in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, and Athanasius Kircher’s Oedipus Aegyptiacus contains a fanciful attempt to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Egyptian themes became much more widespread, however, after Jean-François Champollion deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics, enabling Egyptian works to be read. The nineteenth century proved to be a heyday for Egyptianizing themes in art, architecture, and culture; these persisted into the early 20th century, and were revived briefly after the discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen. Various mystical and fraternal groups incorporated Egyptian themes. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn had an “Isis-Urania” lodge in London, and an Ahathoor lodge in Paris. The Shriners incorporated both Islamic and Egyptian themes into their visual imagery, including their characteristic fezzes. The Murat Shrine Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana contains a celebrated Egyptian Room, decorated with hieroglyphic motifs and Egyptian themed murals. The Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) opened a Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in 1928.
In literature, Rick Riordan has written three books based on Egyptian mythology in the modern world: The Kane Chronicles- The Red Pyramid, The Throne of Fire, and The Serpent’s Shadow. These books are about the adventures of two siblings, Sadie and Carter Kane, who discover that the ancient Egyptian world is still amongst them and they discover that they have the blood of pharaohs and must learn to become magicians in the House of Life. In their adventures they meet and interact with several ancient Egyptian Gods, such as Thoth, Anubis, Isis, Horus, Tawaret, Osiris, Ra, Sobek, Ptah, Bes, and many others.
In The Age of Ra by James Lovegrove, humanity is ruled by the Egyptian pantheon. The Egyptian gods have taken over the world by defeating all other Pantheons that once existed. They have since carved the world into different realms named after themselves.
Morocco is undeniably becoming a strategic platform to address the African continent. An increasing number of global companies choose to step in, first in Morocco, to then gain a faster access to other African markets. Its geographic proximity to Europe, its political stability and its competitive workforce constitute a powerful advantage.
This is especially true for the aeronautics sub-contracting market. However, the country has still a long way to go to be among the top performers in this sector.
While many North African countries have seen violent uprisings over the last two years as part of the Arab Spring and suffered economically as a result, Morocco has avoided the carnage and instead furthered its appeal as one of Africa’s top business destinations. The centerpiece of that appeal is its burgeoning aeronautical industry, which has drawn hundreds of millions of investment dollars since 2010 from American and European aeronautical companies.
Morocco’s economy continues to grow as it experiences an increase in foreign direct investment and an improved business climate. Industries such as tourism, telecom, agriculture and textiles have made Morocco one of Africa’s top economies. Yet Morocco and the rest of the region continue to face high youth unemployment as well as income inequality. To combat this problem, Moroccan leaders are reaching out to the private sector. At the recent Morocco Private Sector Roundtable held in Washington D.C., experts from the private sector and Moroccan government came together to discuss how they can work to spur economic growth in the country.
Two areas that the discussions focused on were education and land productivity, both areas where the government has put significant efforts to improve. To promote quality education, the government created policies that have increased education access as well as initiatives to train Moroccan youth. Active industrial policies have helped enhance Morocco’s business climate, making Morocco more attractive to investors. While much has been done, the event purposed private-public partnership as a channel to further quality education and land productivity. Engagement with the private sector can lead to improved human capital and strong business ties to promote economic growth.
Uganda was among the first sub-Saharan African countries to embrace market reforms in the late 1980s and graduated as a mature reformer in 2006 with sound economic fundamentals and much improved governance. Real GDP growth accelerated from an average of 6.5 per cent year-on-year in the 1990s to over 7 per cent during the 10 years leading up to 2009-10. Not surprisingly, Uganda qualifies as one of the few durable African success stories. Yet its continued prosperity hinges on shifting the economy to a higher productivity level and integrating all its regions into the development process. The coming ‘oil era’ should have a powerful impact on the wider economy, but also poses future challenges.The economy has undergone structural transformation in the past two decades. According to World Bank figures, as a share of total national output, services and industry increased from 32 per cent and 11 per cent in 1990 to 55.7 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, by 2009. Over the same period, agriculture as a share of GDP fell sharply to 17 per cent (from a high of 57 per cent).
Clearly an efficient transportation network is needed to improve links between producers and markets, while improving the mobility of the work force. And, more importantly, industry needs more electricity. Present output is only 550 megawatts (MW) in spite of the 5,300MW potential. The 2010-11 budget has allocated US$570 million for roads and the transport sector in general.
Uganda has proved resilient during the global downturn, underpinned by fiscal-monetary stimuli in the form of higher public spending and low interest rates, adequate international reserves, lower external debt and a well-regulated banking system. Real GDP growth has been robust by global standards – 7.2 per cent in 2009 – thanks to higher intraregional trade and recovery of private investment flows. Growth, however, declined to 5.2 per cent in 2010, caused by drought and reduced capital inflows. On the positive side, however, fiscal deficits and public debt remain manageable. And Uganda has maintained a prudent borrowing strategy – the risk of debt distress is negligible.
‘Prudent macroeconomic policies have enabled Uganda to maintain stability despite a series of external shocks. Notwithstanding a recent deceleration, output growth has been strong and is expected to rebound quickly. Inflation has moderated and the country’s external position has remained solid, buoyed by robust exports and foreign investment flows. Limited central bank intervention has helped smooth excessive exchange rate volatility and the financial sector has remained sound,’ the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
Ugandan army may not be the most advanced in Africa but it has show that it is the most courageous and it has proved its self better than most force from the rest of Africa from 1993 when participated in stopping the Rwanda genocide,protected the Kenyans in 2008, fought the Rwandan rebel in Congo up to date, when its keeping peace in southern Sudan and largely in Somalia which was abandoned by most Africans great powers like the south Africa and the African Arab countries.
Much like Egypt, Algeria is trapped in stasis. And similar to Egypt and Nigeria, the Algerian military has played a major role in domestic politics since independence in 1962 – gained after a brutal war with France that lasted eight years and traumatised both countries. Its ailing and elderly president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has won four consecutive elections since 1999.
Like Nigeria, Algeria’s economy is largely based on oil and gas, and it suffers from all the attendant problems known as the ‘Dutch disease’ and the ‘resource curse’.20 Employment creation is minimal, and the terrorist threat in the south raises the issue that oil exploitation may not be predictable in all of the country. After the introduction of multiparty politics in 1988, the military again stepped into the political sphere to prevent the Islamic Salvation Front from gaining power during elections scheduled for January 1992. The subsequent Algerian Civil War claimed tens of thousands of lives and subsided only after several years. Efforts by Bouteflika, through his Civil Concord initiative, reduced tensions and, together with subsequent efforts, have contributed to national reconciliation.
Unlike Egypt, Algeria was narrowly able to avoid much of the impact from the Arab Spring, which started in neighbouring Tunisia at the end of 2010. But the fallout from the NATO intervention in Libya, which finally clinched the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, ignited turmoil in the region, particularly along Algeria’s eastern and southern borders with Libya, Mali and Niger. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco, to the west, complete the picture of a country located in a hostile neighbourhood. Although it contributes little to peacekeeping, Algeria has the highest military expenditure among the Big Five and in Africa as a whole.