Egypt’s Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman has announced that Egypt will reveal plans for the country’s new capital city within weeks.
According to The National, a UAE-based newspaper, Salman said the city’s plans will be revealed at Egypt’s economic conference that will be held in Sharm El Sheikh in March.
“We’re talking a very big city. It is just the size of New Cairo itself … It is the ‘new New Cairo’,” said the Minister to The National.
The Minister added that the city, which will be 70,000 acres, will take 12 years to build and will be built to the east of Cairo near Ain El-Sokhna.
While it is not clear who will be responsible for the construction of the city, reports earlier this week in Bloomberg revealed that UAE’s Emaar is in negotiations with the Egyptian government to build the new capital.
Plans to build the new city were first announced by Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb in July 2014.
WHY BUILD A NEW CITY
The proposed city would aim at transferring Ministries, government buildings and foreign embassies from down-town Cairo to the new capital.
According to Prime Minister Mehleb, the new city would be established on the Suez-Cairo-Ain Sokhna road. The project will aim at reducing congestion in down-town Cairo and population density.
The plan to build a new capital city appears to be in line with the economic and development policies of Egypt’s new President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Egypt’s new President is tackling development through the implementation of a plan titled ‘The Map of the Future.’
The plan, a creation by former NASA geologist Farouk El-Baz, involves building new cities, making use of more than 90 percent of Egypt’s territory that remains abandoned and constructing new roads, railroads and airports.
‘The Map of the Future’ also envisions the use of renewable energy (including solar and wind power) to provide a sustainable energy source for Egypt’s rapidly growing population.
President Sisi’s plans aim to boost development, diversify energy sources and tackle Egypt’s high unemployment.
Cairo is one of the most overpopulated cities in the world, with almost 20 million people. The city also suffers from high pollution, traffic congestion and hundreds of illegally constructed buildings.