Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

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Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:41 pm

Egypt's new capital city moved a step closer to reality with the announcement that Chinese developers will largely fund the megaproject.

The China Fortune Land Development Company (CFLD) agreed to provide $20 billion for the currently unnamed city, after a meeting between heads of the firm and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

This follows a previous commitment of $15 billion from another Chinese state-owned company, bringing the project close to its $45 billion budget requirements for phase I.

Plans for the new capital were first announced in March 2015. Government officials described the development as a solution to crowding, pollution and rising house prices in Cairo.

"Cairo Capital is a momentous endeavor to build national spirit, foster consensus, provide for long-term sustainable growth," said the project website. "(The) new city will create more places to live, work and visit."

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Under construction

The 700 square kilometer city to be constructed in the desert to the East of Cairo would become the new seat of government, and it is presented as a far grander vision than the current capital.

Proposals for the city include housing for five million people, over 1,000 mosques, smart villages, industrial zones, a 5,000-seat conference center, and the world's largest park.

Interest in the project has been brisk. An Indian company is reportedly planning a vast medical center and university, while a Saudi firm intends to build a 12.6 hectare mosque and Islamic museum.

Construction is already under way. According to Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper, engineers have begun work on infrastructure including bridges and 210 kilometers of roads.

The first phase of the project will see government ministries and residential blocks rise from the sand. This phase could be complete within five years, with the first residents moving in.


Ghost town?

Despite the optimism from officials, there are concerns that the project will encounter familiar problems. Egypt has already constructed several satellite towns around Cairo, which have registered low occupancy 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 Sims, 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," says Sims. "The new towns were built with a high modernist approach that did not allow the informal enterprises and activities that most Egyptians rely on."


Learning lessons

Egypt has a fundamentally misguided approach to development planning, according to architect and planner and Kareem Ibrahim of the NGO Tadamun.

"We have a chronic problem with the urban government of existing cities, and no matter how many cities you build you are not solving this problem," he says.

Ibrahim's research found that around 50% of Cairo neighborhoods lacked access to sewage services, while public services were failing, and municipal councils were operating with as little as $4 per capita per year.

"The levels of deprivation were shocking," says Ibrahim. "The investment should be going towards providing equal rights to public services and utilities. Let's think about how to develop better governing structure for the cities we have, and then build new cities."

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/09/afric ... w-capital/


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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by BBLUX » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:36 am

So, is this now going ahead or not???

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/confu ... -728835733
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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by newcastle » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:59 am

Sisi's reticence in April 2015 (the MEE article) was understandably based on the lack of funds for such a mega-project.

Now that the Chinese et al will pay for at least the first stage....it's tally ho !! :lol:

At least that's how I read this latest piece of governmental lunacy. :urm:

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by Hafiz » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:14 pm

It’s the why I don’t understand, and also who benefits. Who did the needs analysis?

Newcastle, apparently stage two is now signed up.

It may not be aid or a grant because world wide total Chinese aid is only about $US7 billion. http://www.lowyinstitute.org/issues/chinese-foreign-aid

700 square kilometers that’s a bit more than 26 kilometers square and much larger than inner London and several times Manhattan Island (as far north as Yonkers). It took several hundred years to build these cities – but the government is going to do this in five or six (some say the promise is three, some say 12).

The project completion date will hardly give anyone time to take a breath – yet alone get any competitive tenders or do an audit.

Who knows what is going on. Another more detailed version from the past few days: http://egyptianstreets.com/2016/10/04/c ... ital-city/ mentions local partners who don’t wear business suits and like a bit of braid so there probably won’t be much press reporting or legal strikes but maybe ‘job opportunities’ for conscripts.

Meanwhile, after decades of building, outer Cairo is littered with quarter completed ghost like satellite cities – one of which holds the name of New Cairo.

As with previous Chinese African projects will they be bringing in their own slave labor/prisoners to do the work.

The new Chinese contractors have appeared following the exit of those Arab contractors who were so lauded at the launch six or eight months ago. Capital City Partners (UAE) was announced as the lead but its total revenues over two decades were less than half this single project cost. The Chinese partners might also struggle – one has yearly global revenues of less than $US6 billion and, in any case builds only industrial parks, the other is owned by the communist party but is among the largest company of its type in the world. I imagine a few of its workers will be paid to check the country out.

There will be costs and China, under its innovative Silk Road/One Belt One Road strategy of aid and development, will extract full value: http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/ ... -silk-road and some say it works, but for whom: http://thediplomat.com/2016/08/learning ... aid-model/. Maybe its like the canal all over again. You end up owing so much money or political debts that someone else starts running the place. On the other hand maybe it will be a Russian re-run. Take the money/dam, then kick them out and then (this week) invite them back for military exercises. So many new friends.

One effect of the new city should be that no one needs to leave it. Housing, schools, hospitals (663 according to Wiki), mosques, work and entertainment all in one place. Maybe after several generations of gated communities the Egyptian middle classes are addicted to locking themselves off from reality.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by A-Four » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:07 pm

I really do enjoy reading your comments regarding Egypt's now and future Hafiz. With you, it's like sat around a table in a general discussion over a few drinks, where we can debate how Egypt's future will be, by a couple of people who are quite independent, though both have a sound knowledge of Egypt's recent past history.

I don't know if you remember, but towards the end of the Mubarak era, great plans were carried out to develop the new agricultural city in Southern Egypt that would create new homes and life style for approximate 20% of the present day population of Egypt. ( now, where have I heard that one before.) Mubarak spent more than $3 Billion of Egypt's own money on this project, though even the usual happy wiki info person on this site can not trace, though we can detect by map, of the vast sum that was wasted at that time.

Yer know Hafiz, this future project East of Cairo, may, silly it may sound, could be successful, the Chineese are not stupid,..........I will write more tomorrow, that is, unless some one writes the usual crabby ill informed wiki comments here.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by newcastle » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:52 pm

What a load of tosh ;) Have the bars emptied early tonight?

I'm trying to imagine the erudite Hafiz having a meaningful discussion with you :a8:

Nope.....doesn't work.

Mind you....he could probably give you a few tips on English grammar & syntax :ct

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by A-Four » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:13 pm

Yep, you have your fun as usual on this forum, and see how it's gone down.

Ah well, life is too short for I and also many who once commented on this site, We have new things to do, and evidently have little or no time to put up with your sarcastic, petty **** comments, I for one, I am sure you will be pleased to hear have had enough, so unlike other will be more vocal,...........**** you.

A - four.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by A-Four » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:16 pm

Have you always been a ****, Newcastle.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by A-Four » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:35 pm

newcastle wrote:What a load of tosh ;) Have the bars emptied early tonight?

I'm trying to imagine the erudite Hafiz having a meaningful discussion with you :a8:

Nope.....doesn't work.

Mind you....he could probably give you a few tips on English grammar & syntax :ct

Eee, yer Know Newcastle you are a wonderful person, I know some people think yer full of s***, but not me, I think you are a star in your own right, you come on here and enlighten all of us trash plebs, with yer wonderful grasp of English,..........you really are full of it.

Perhaps you should set up the business again in Hurgarda, once things pick up,...........if you dare : :wi .

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by newcastle » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:39 am

You sad OLD git :lol: . What's with this faux dialect? Given up on the Queen's English have we??

"I know some people think yer full of s***, but not me,"..............."you really are full of it." You seem confused :a86: :a86: :)))

I might consider setting up business in Hurgarda (sic) :a30: ....if I knew where it was.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by Major Thom » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:10 am

What about the poverty in Egypt especially Upper Egypt?

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by carrie » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:24 am

What about the poverty in Egypt especially upper Egypt, well what about it? What are you trying to say?
Surely if the new city does come about it will mean a lot of work for a lot of people, even if it is only the high paying jobs like sweeping the brand new streets. If the upper class, rich, Egyptians allow such people into their, no doubt, gated communities.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by newcastle » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:26 am

Major Thom wrote:What about the poverty in Egypt especially Upper Egypt?
George Orwell explained, quite succinctly, why poverty is likely to be a permanent feature of any society:

“It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”
― George Orwell, 1984

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by A-Four » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:30 pm

Hafiz wrote:It’s the why I don’t understand, and also who benefits. Who did the needs analysis?.
Throughout the last ten years of the Mubarak era, the president would appear on the television news, that seemed almost weekly either throwing a switch, pressing a lever or laying a brick as part of some inauguration ceremony of a vast project. An hour long program about each project followed the main news of the day. The next day everyone throughout the country would be discussing the project in question, but then everything went silent, and none of these such vast projects ever came to anything.e

To my memory, only one really serious development ever got off the ground, it was a project that involved resettling 20% of the total population of Egypt. As I have already written above, over $3 Billion was spent on the initial work, before suddenly, everything came to a stop. Even now Google Map picks out quite clearly the enormous amount of work carried out in a relatively short period.

I am not sure whether it's an Egyptian thing, but with anything there, if a subject is not discussed, no matter how bad a situation is, then eventually it will disappear, for example the Russian aeroplane disaster, where after time we might even call it a accident, a little like they call the Hatchepsuit massacre today.

With regards to this project East of Cairo, it make sense, the Chinesse are no fools. I suspect that they will build the new government departments, even a new parliament building, and I expect will lease this to the Egyptian government. With regards to the present day government building in Garden City Cairo, including that dreadful building in Tahir Square, I am sure that the Chinesse under an agreement will purchase all the old government buildings and demolish them within six months of the completion of the new government administration, in other words, there would be no going back.

The Chinesse will then redevelop the whole of Garden City into high rise apartment blocks, for the up and coming so called middle class of Cairo. Some how I believe the Chinesse will seek some sort of special relationship with the Egyptian Government for use of the Suez Canal.

Any how Hafiz that's my idea, though I am rather curious to know how you see it played out.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by Hafiz » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:40 pm

My questions still unanswered - the why question, what's the need? The other question - who benefits - well who do you think - not the Egyptian citizen who will be ultimately be responsible for the debt.

A-Four - the ag. development is probably Toshka/New Valley. It didn’t get off the ground although it does have a 12 lane freeway. It would be an understatement to say this project has underwhelmed. Whilst info is scarce, apparently there are near insuperable scientific issues with the soil and water. I think a lot of gulf money has gone west there – and maybe Egyptian money – and the dashed hopes of Egyptian farmers.

Its possible that the money diverted to it has caused the present deplorable state of the irrigation system which wastes water and adds to farmer’s costs. As with a lot of things careful expenditure to improve existing systems would produce better outcomes than new mega projects – and help the average Egyptian. http://www.thenational.ae/business/econ ... a-cleanout. Another example is the announced super fast train to Aswan when they could get so much more out of the existing system if repaired and properly managed. http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/05/2 ... rtunities/

A-Four. You say the new capital city makes sense. Really! Sense is usually based on logic and evidence. Why is it needed, at this stage or ever, what problems will it overcome, what is Egypt’s track record on such mega projects, aren’t there higher priorities than housing the middle and ruling classes and will those who pay the debt get the benefit? One possible, and unintended, interpretation of your post is that there is a need for circuses and bread to distract people.

The canal. Read my posted articles on the Silk Road. China intends/has already connected itself by rail with Pakistan, Iran and the trans Siberian express and this will be a system it owns and controls for moving its exports/imports. You may say – what about bulk exports – but even wheat is now being containerized for shipment and oil can be moved by train. Therefore, the Canal is not the certain advantage it once was – well not as far as China exports/imports are concerned.

China will hedge its bets and have announced some sort of preliminary understanding to invest a trillion dollars in the zone – or so al Ahram says. :lol:

Whatever the Chinese do they will play hard. They will want a lot move than Garden City as a building site. In any case Garden City has just a few well connected residents and they may not want years of dust and noise. :roll:

You mention weekly Mubarak openings/announcements for TV. I think you will find that this has now gone hyper.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by newcastle » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:29 pm

Quote Horus :

My question still unanswered - why, what's the need?

In short....there isn't one...at least not in the sense you ask the question. As an ego-boost for el presidente. jobs ( and maybe homes) for the military/elite sector of the nation, and as a distraction from the day-to-day problems faced by the bulk of the population it has some logic.

There's a growing concern at the viability of these mega-projects, the absence of clear, transparent analytical reasoning behind them and growing dismay at the fact that these projects will distract attention from fundamental issues like employment, education, healthcare etc. etc

In a two-hour long televised interview [June 2016], which was broad, but not that deep, and where there was clear self-censorship in the questioning, President el-Sisi answered a number of questions on different aspects of Egypt’s politics and economy.

A topic that garnered particular focus was el-Sisi’s ambition for Egypt’s mega projects, with the president noting that the Suez Canal expansion was needed to boost public morale.

For us this comment highlights the irresponsibility of utilising well over US$8 billion on a project which will be of little, or no, commercial benefit to Egypt, and the misplaced trust in mega projects to turn the Egyptian economy around.


El-Sisi added that there are over two million Egyptians currently working in over 1,000 companies on projects, which are costing EGP1,300 billion (US$146 billion).

These comments are also worrying in that there is no certainty that the details given by the president are accurate, and that there has been no public discussion about the mega projects. The lack of an independent review of the merits to the economy of these projects — including the new capital city in the desert — adds to their opaque nature, which includes their costs, their financing, and the bidding process for the construction contracts.

https://www.menas.co.uk/blog/el-sisi-an ... -projects/

In another attempt to expand a project that has long been the subject of criticism, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has increased the area of land allocated to the Toshka project.

Published in the state's Egyptian Gazette on [August 2016], Sisi’s decision will allocate 992 feddans (approximately 4 million square meters) of state-owned land to the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) that is designated for the New Toshka City project.

http://www.madamasr.com/news/egypt-allo ... ka-project

As already mentioned by Horus, this Mubarak-era project has long been damned on fundamental ecological grounds.

As to why the Chinese should be interested in financing these projects :

If you look around the Middle East, there are not many alternatives: Morocco is a much smaller, much less central country; Algeria is a very closed market; Tunisia’s too small; Libya, Iraq, and Syria are in turmoil, and the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council countries] are not in need of development aid. So, you’re left with Egypt.

It's also the fact that China is not squeamish on matters such as democracy or human rights and will not questioning the government in these areas.

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201601 ... nvestment/

How long this headlong rush into the unknown is sustainable is anyone's guess.

The cynicism about the country’s rulers is especially pronounced in young Egyptians, who represent most of the population and the future of the country.

Monitoring their attitudes will be a crucial barometer of future stability, as the young people who form a majority of the population were enthusiastic participants in the 2011 revolution and will likely be the vanguard any future unrest.

https://www.menas.co.uk/publications/eg ... t-overview

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by Hafiz » Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:45 pm

Newcastle - I'm not Horus - well not in this sinful incarnation. :) Maybe the next will see me elevated. I will assume you were temporarily deranged by autumn sun or tourist hordes - or maybe you were down-wind from the Luxor Temple rave? :D

The Menas link was good. Produced by people who are paid to be frank and accurate. If they are not they go broke. They make an interesting point about the generations of centralized power, the control this gives but the risks if things go wrong. No-where to hide. Nasser paid that price.

A-Four undermines his own argument. On the one hand he proclaims Toshka a failure but bets on the next mega project being a success. I was always taught that the best predictor of future performance was past behavior. It isn't as if there have been any different people in control since 1952. As if there wasn't enough other form to go on - for example, what has happened to the million houses for the poor - announced/launched so many times?

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by newcastle » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:21 pm

Oops! :oops: A case of Horus-on-the-brain.

No drugs involved......just the failing mind of an old codger :urm:

Maybe I'd have got it right WITH some help ;)

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by A-Four » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:52 pm

Hafiz wrote: A-Four - the ag. development is probably Toshka/New Valley. It didn’t get off the ground although it does have a 12 lane freeway. It would be an understatement to say this project has underwhelmed. Whilst info is scarce, apparently there are near insuperable scientific issues with the soil and water. I think a lot of gulf money has gone west there – and maybe Egyptian money – and the dashed hopes of Egyptian farmers.
Do please for give me Hafiz, I was not for one moment attempting to compare the new Cairo project with that of Toshka/ New Valley. I was simply attempting to work out YOUR knowledge of modern Egypt, where others would certainly fail to understand what subject I was referring to, even with the aid of Wiki information, as you rightfully say, there is little available. However, your knowledge is quite astounding. You are correct of course, just a little upto date news on that subject, President Sisi has instructed work to restart on this crazy project. If you Google map the whole area you might be surprised how much work has been carried out, even some rather recently.

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Re: Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China

Post by Brian Yare » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:07 pm

Hafiz wrote:The Menas link was good.
Am I going dyslexic? I immediately read that as Mensa and pushed it under the table.

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