Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

The Shift to Natural Gas for Electricity Production in Egypt Affected Rural Electrification

The Shift to Natural Gas for Electricity Production in Egypt Affected Rural Electrification

“Electricity is more than just a source of power for homes; it symbolizes hope and progress. However, this promise often goes unrealized for millions in rural areas around the globe. Egypt’s quest for energy equality—a story that started with challenges in 1992, the rise of a solution that not only brought electricity to villages but also changed lives.”

In 1992, Egypt faced a significant energy challenge with urban electrification at 98.4% and rural access lagging at 89.6%.
This disparity raised concerns about the inclusivity of the energy infrastructure and the well-being of rural communities.

A Greener, Cheaper, Overall Better Solution Emerges:

To tackle this formidable challenge, the proposed solution involved harnessing Egypt’s abundant natural gas resources. Natural gas, renowned for its cleaner and more sustainable attributes, emerged as a beacon of hope. The goal was not only to cater to escalating urban demands but to extend the benefits to long-overlooked rural areas, creating a more inclusive and environmentally friendly energy landscape. Additionally, natural gas offered economic advantages, being both cheaper and easier to remote in rural regions compared to traditional energy sources. This made it an ideal solution for bridging the energy divide and ensuring equitable access to electricity across Egypt.

Success Unveiled:

Natural gas production experienced substantial growth over the years, having a major role in impacting the construction of a resilient and accessible energy infrastructure. this economic viability made it an attractive solution for bridging the energy gap and ensuring equitable access to electricity across Egypt. This success wasn’t confined to urban centers but rippled out to rural communities, ensuring that the positive impact of electrification reached every corner of the nation.

The percentage of natural gas production witnessed remarkable growth over 10-year intervals, rising from nearly zero in 1971 to around 80% in 2011.

Symmetry, With Oil Sources:

There the growth of natural gas production aligns symmetrically with the decline in oil sources production. This visual harmony provides irrefutable evidence that the strategic integration of natural gas was not only effective but also instrumental in reducing dependence on less sustainable energy sources.

Fast forward to 2011:

Urban access surged to an impressive 99.74%, the most notable achievement was the substantial growth in rural electrification, which improved significantly (more than 10%) to reach 99.2%.
This visual representation underscores the remarkable progress in bringing electricity to rural areas, signaling a successful effort to bridge the gap.

Rural Electrification Triumphs:

The real triumph lies in the positive outcomes witnessed in rural electrification, as exemplified in the narrative of “Natural Gas and Rural Electrification.”

The integration of natural gas into the energy mixes catapulted Egypt into a new era—a landscape marked by balance, sustainability, and a profound impact on rural communities. The findings underscore the success of aligning energy production with both environmental and social imperatives.
Imports Vs Exports in Lebanon (% GDP)

Imports Vs Exports in Lebanon (% GDP)


In the dynamic world of economics, trade balances play a pivotal role in determining a country’s financial health. This visualization offers a clear and concise representation of Lebanon’s trade situation over the recent years, focusing on the comparison between the exports and imports of goods and services as a percentage of GDP.


Lebanon, a country with a rich trading history, has faced various economic challenges exacerbated by political instability and global market fluctuations. Understanding the trade trends is crucial for policy-makers, businesses, and academicians to assess the country’s economic resilience and to strategize for future growth.

These pie charts are a visual summary of the economic challenges faced by Lebanon in terms of trade. They underscore the need for strategic planning and diversified economic reform to build a more balanced and self-sufficient economic structure.

In 2019, the pie chart illustrates that imports considerably outweighed exports, indicating a trade deficit. This imbalance suggests that the country was consuming more than it was producing for external markets.

2020 shows a slight shift with the reduction in imports and a marginal increase in exports. This change could be indicative of various factors, such as a change in economic policy, a response to external economic pressures, or the impact of the global events of that year, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

By 2021, the gap between imports and exports continues to persist, although there’s a noticeable improvement in the trade balance, with exports comprising a larger section of the pie.


Lebanon is grappling with a trade deficit.


1- Diversification of Exports: Investing in diverse sectors to increase the range of goods and services for export.

2- Improving Domestic Production: Enhancing the quality and quantity of domestic production to reduce reliance on imports.

3- Trade Agreements: Entering into new trade agreements that favor Lebanese exports or revising existing ones to improve trade terms.

After working on these strategies developing these ideas, and through careful analysis and responsive policymaking, Lebanon can work towards a future where its exports and imports are in a healthier balance.

Lebanon’s Rebirth: Cultivating Economic Hope

Lebanon’s Rebirth: Cultivating Economic Hope

Lebanon’s economy witnessed a significant downturn starting in 2018, with its GDP plummeting from $54.9 billion in 2018 to $23.1 billion in 2021. This sharp decline underscored the urgent need for innovative and sustainable solutions to rejuvenate the nation’s economic framework.

The Crisis in Numbers

The financial crisis in Lebanon manifested in various alarming indicators. The country’s GDP annual growth rate took a nosedive from -1.88% in 2018 to a staggering -21.89% in 2020. This drastic reduction pointed towards a severe contraction in economic activities, investments, and consumption. Further exacerbating the situation was the soaring inflation rate, which reached 154.8% in 2020, eroding the purchasing power of the Lebanese people, destabilizing savings, and deepening economic hardships.

Agriculture: A Beacon of Hope

In the midst of this crisis, a potential solution emerged: leveraging Lebanon’s arable land, which constitutes 13.64% of the country’s total land area. Despite a slight increase in arable land over the past decade, the contribution of agriculture to Lebanon’s GDP witnessed a decline in 2020, signaling an underutilization of this vital resource.

Revitalizing Through Agricultural Enhancement

The proposed solution focuses on enhancing agricultural production. This can be achieved by diversifying crop production, adopting modern agricultural practices, and providing robust support to local farmers. Historically, the agricultural sector has received limited attention from credit bank managers due to perceived risks. Therefore, government incentives and subsidies could play a crucial role in encouraging agricultural growth and exports, thereby aiding in job creation and indirectly boosting the country’s GDP.

Sustainable Practices and Unique Opportunities

Lebanon’s diverse geography and microclimates offer a unique advantage for cultivating a variety of crops. The country’s rich agricultural heritage, featuring culturally significant crop varieties, coupled with sustainable farming practices, enhances the quality and marketability of its produce. The export potential of these unique crops holds promise for stimulating economic growth and fostering regional trade cooperation.

Concrete Steps Forward

Findings suggest that Lebanon’s agricultural sector harbors substantial growth potential, which remains largely untapped. Key recommendations include comprehensive agricultural policy reforms, investment in infrastructure, and promotion of sustainable practices. A collaborative approach involving the government, private sector, and international organizations is essential to effectively implement these recommendations.

Conclusion: A Vision for Recovery

Lebanon stands at a critical juncture where investing in agricultural production and harnessing the potential of its arable land can serve as a cornerstone for economic recovery. This strategy not only aims to enhance the country’s food exports and optimize resource use but also addresses the pressing issues of unemployment and GDP growth.

In essence, Lebanon’s journey towards economic resilience can be significantly bolstered by a strategic pivot to agriculture, tapping into the nation’s inherent strengths and fostering a sustainable and prosperous future.

The role of education towards reduce inequality between countries.

The role of education towards reduce inequality between countries.

Having the opportunity to pursue higher education is considered a luxury in some countries, as educational opportunities are not equal in all countries. Education has a huge impact on all life aspects; it increases the awareness, betters health, leads to higher life expectancy, progresses economy and many other life aspects would develop.

Education is one of the forces that shape the development and growth of the countries. It has a huge impact on many aspects; it shifts the nation towards more productivity and advancement. The impact of tertiary education will be visualized and discussed below.
1. Awareness and Empowerment:
Education provides knowledge to the public; advancing their thoughts and grows ambitions. This has been proven by the bar chart as it reflects the positive relation between tertiary education and human development.

2. Health and wellbeing:
Providing better and further opportunities for nations to education, making it accessible to everyone has proven the positive correlation on the development of a country’s population. It enhances the health aspect of the country as we can see in the charts; more developed countries seem to have lower infant and maternal mortality due to the high percentage of enrolled students in tertiary education and less out of pocket expenditures on health, in addition to a noticeable positive correlation with life expectancy. As education is one of the main influences on a country’s development, it impacts the health sector. We can also see that a higher number of physicians are available per thousand in contrast with less developed countries.

Economy and development:
The economy of a country is built on the willingness of the population to work and achieve, having the drive and purpose to reach. We can see that developed and educated countries tend to have higher workforce percentage, higher gross domestic income (GDP) than that of undeveloped countries. Additionally, the minimum wage is much higher.

By acknowledging education as the main foundation to development and enhancement, it will be possible to foster a perfect environment for empowering, flourishing, and competitive country, one which strives for enhancement and development.

Seeking Better Health for Arab Countries

Seeking Better Health for Arab Countries


NCDs are the non-communicable diseases which are cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular ,chronic respiratory diseases. Actually,

If you’ve not been exposed to a close person dying or suffering from NCDs, which I doubt to be the case, then you are extremely lucky. But, most probably, you will pass through a stage in your life where you would feel the danger of these diseases and realize how big is this number of people dying each year.

High percentage of Mortality Caused by NCDS from total mortality

Based on the figure above we see that the mortality caused by NCDs from total mortality rate for the displayed Arab countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Somalia, and others are really high. Comparing these values to countries like France, Germany, and UK for example, the percentage for the Arab Countries is about  double and sometimes triple that of France, Germany and UK. The problem is not only in the high percentage but in the fact that it is almost the same throughout 2016 till 2019(no data after 2019). So, what if we don’t deal with this situation? Then, for example, in Somalia, another 30% will die from NCDs this year and then the same happens in the next year and so on.
But, what could be the reason for such high percentages?

Correlation between government expenditure on health and mortality caused by NCDs

Take a look at the above figure. it is clear how the orange color(low government expenditure on health) corresponds to the blue color(high mortality caused by the diseases). and it is clear how the intensities are almost not changing through the years for each country. In other words, governments are not changing their expenditure on health which is leading to keeping the mortality as is.

So, the solution seems to be clear. Increasing government expenditures on health will do the job as displayed and this is validated in the below figure where Germany and UK for example show that the higher percentage of government expenditure on health has led to lower percentage of mortality caused by NCDs from total mortality.

But, what are the steps that these Arab countries should follow in order to decrease mortality caused by NCDs?

  • Investment in Healthcare Infrastructure: Allocate funds to improve healthcare facilities.
  • Preventive Healthcare Programs: Develop awareness campaigns and screenings to promote healthy living such as avoiding tobacco and drinking filtered water.
  • Increased Research Funding: Invest in local research and make partnerships with more modernized countries to learn from their strategies in this field for more effective interventions.
  • Health Insurance Expansion: Widen coverage for accessible healthcare services

Countries like Germany, and the UK showcase successful validations of investment, preventive care emphasis, and research funding, correlating with better healthcare outcomes since they have low mortality caused by NCDs from the total mortality as displayed in the previous map.

Moreover, governments can influence private health expenditures, which denote the total spending on healthcare by private entities within a country, excluding public funds. They do so through tax incentives, regulations, subsidies, and partnerships to encourage higher private health spending. In addition the government can raise awareness Campaigns to encourage increasing private health expenditures since more stabilized countries like UK, Germany, France have very high domestic private health expenditures per capita(current US$) as displayed in the figure below compared to the Arab countries mentioned where for example the lowest value is recorded by Sudan in 2018 to be 25$ and the highest which is recorded by Iraq in 2019 is 120$. These are really low values compared to lowest value by UK which is 771$ in 2017 and the highest recorded by Germany in 2018 which is 1252$. So, it is obvious the huge difference in the domestic private health expenditures.


In conclusion, These Arab countries that are experiencing higher mortality rates from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) due to lower government health spending can learn from successful healthcare models in Germany, France, and the UK. This correlation highlights the urgency for action. Governments in these Arab nations must prioritize investing in healthcare infrastructure, forming partnerships with advanced healthcare systems, and encouraging private health spending. Collaborative efforts between public and private sectors offer a path to narrow healthcare gaps, significantly improving overall healthcare quality and accessibility.