Egypt announces plan to rebuild new capital from scratch

The first phase of the plan will cost $45billion

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Egypt is known for its ancient history, but leaders are now looking to the future by announcing plans to reconstruct the entire capital from scratch.

The country’s beleaguered government plans to build the new capital adjacent to Cairo, in a project of such gargantuan scale that the first phase alone will cost $45billion (£31billion), and will take at least seven years to complete.

Egyptian Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced the plan on Friday at the three-day international economic conference held at the popular tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheihk, and called a source of “pride and inspiration” to young Egyptians

Mr Madbouly said he hopes the plan would alleviate congestion and overpopulation in Cairo - which has been the Egyptian capital for 1,000 years - over the next 40 years, amid predictions that the population will double in size in that time, AP reported.

A scale model of a planned new capital for Cairo (Image: EPA)

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The first phase of the program involves the expansion of the current outskirts of the capital to the east, adding an additional 105 kilometers (60 miles) of development.

The area would include a new administrative centre, which is yet unnamed, which would include government offices, diplomatic missions and housing as well as universities, a technology and innovation park, and 10,000 km (6,000 miles) of roads.

Construction of the road linking Cairo to the new administrative centre is already underway.

Eventually, the new capital will expand to 700 square km in size (270 square miles), including green spaces for citizens to enjoy, and will link up with the Suez Canal zone.

The ambitious plan comes after it was announced that the Suez Canal is to be expanded and the creation of an industrial zone around it.