3 - The Rocket in the Haystack: Between Nasser’s Developmental Vision and the Neo-Imperialist Mission


  • Kareem Megahed
  • Omar Ghannam




This article assesses Gamal Abdel Nasser’s efforts to transform Egypt’s postcolonial economy via his industrialisation policies, drawing lessons for today from both his successes and shortcomings. By analysing outcomes through indicators of industrial production, employment patterns, productivity, and main beneficiaries in the post-independence period, the article critiques Nasser’s incremental approach, the undermining of workers’ movements, and the limiting nature of ‘state feminism’, which contributed to the failure to achieve full economic and political independence, leading to its eventual collapse in the face of imperialist resurgence. Nasser’s industrialisation project, however, does demonstrate the superiority of active policy intervention, particularly of planning and import-substitution- industrialisation, and suggests the need to pursue central planning, economic inclusion, self-sufficiency, and social production aimed at meeting the material needs of the population in the contemporary period.

Kareem Megahed, Political economy, history researcher / Post-Colonialisms Today researcher. Email: k.megahed@sjplatform.org

Omar Ghannam, Political economy researcher / Post-Colonialisms Today researcher. Email: o.ghannam@sjplatform.org