CAIRO – The Egyptian authorities are making gradual progress in constructing a sustainable smart city, which is also known as the new administrative capital of one of Africa’s most industrialised nations.
When completed, the ambitious US$30 billion mega project will be home to about 6.5 million residents, and it will be the seat of government as well as the financial capital of Egypt.
The new city, which is situated about 45km east of Cairo, and measuring 714 km2, will also be home to foreign embassies, and it will include public Wi-Fi, making it a beacon of smart city infrastructure.
“We are using this project to mitigate overpopulation and decongest Cairo, which now has a population of about 22 million people,” said Khaled El-Husseiny Soliman from developers Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) during a guided tour of editors from sub-Saharan Africa this week.
Known for its rich ancient history, Cairo remains a historic destination in Egypt and the Middle East.
However, its metropolitan population has been growing at unsustainable rates over the years, causing concern within government.
“It is important for the community to be connected. With the new administrative capital, we want to improve the quality of life and secure a green future for our nation,” Soliman added.
His sentiments were echoed by the general manager of ACUD, General Mohamed Abd El-Latief, who believes the project, which could take another 25 years to complete, will position Egypt as a continental leader when it comes to infrastructure development.
Apart from helping to strengthen and diversify its economic potential, the new administrative capital will also feature a cultural district, a wide variety of urban neighbourhoods, and an international airport, while there would be smart monitoring of traffic congestions and accidents.
According to the planners and developers of the new administrative capital, no external funding has been mobilised for this massive undertaking.
The Egyptian government is responsible for its funding.
Some funds were also raised through the selling of tracts of land to private developers, according to ACUD.