The Chinese are putting up $45 billion for phase I of the unnamed city
China is funding a new capital city for Egypt and has provided $45 billion so far.
The China Fortune Land Development Company (CFLD) has agreed to provide $20 billion for the currently unnamed city, following a meeting between the heads of the firm and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
This monetary installment follows a previous commitment of $15 billion from a different Chinese state-owned company, bringing the project total close to $45 billion for phase I.
The new capital was announced in March 2015 when government officials described the development as a solution to crowding, pollution and rising house prices in Ciaro.
“Cairo Capital is a momentous endeavor to build national spirit, foster consensus, provide for long-term sustainable growth,” reads the project website.
“(The) new city will create more places to live, work and visit.”
The city spans 700 square kilometers and will be constructed in the desert in the east of Ciaro. The new capital will also be home to the government as well as 5 million people, 1000 mosques, villages, industrial zones, a 5000 seat conference centre and the world’s largest park.
According to Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper, engineers have begun work on infrastructure including bridges and roads for the city, which could see its first phase being completed in five years. Phase I will see the construction of government ministries and residential blocks.
Critics say that hte new city may suffer from similar problems that other satellite towns around Cairo have faced including low occupancy rates despite high investment.
“The needs of Cairo should be met by the existing eight new towns around it,” says David Sims, an urban planner and author based in the Cairo. “But people call them ghost towns. The satellites repeated the same mistakes, says which are also likely to affect the new capital.”
The new towns produced housing that is unaffordable, unobtainable and inaccessible for the majority of Cairo’s inhabitants. The new towns were built with a high modernist approach that did not allow the informal enterprises and activities that most Egyptians rely on.”