March 13, 2015 / 7:37 PM / 5 years ago

Egypt plans to build new administrative capital east of Cairo

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Egypt plans to build a new administrative capital east of Cairo within five to seven years at a cost of $45 billion, its housing minister said on Friday.

Announcing the project at an international investment conference, Mostafa Madbouli said the goal included creating 1.1 million housing units. “We are talking about a world capital,” he said.

The new capital, planned to be the size of Singapore, will house government buildings, diplomatic missions and residential units in the area between Cairo, Suez City and Ain Sokhna, Madbouli said.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has announced a series of mega-projects designed to attract foreign investment and create jobs in a country with a booming population of 90 milllion.

Madbouli said he expected the population of greater Cairo, currently estimated at about 20 million, to double within 40 years.

The project will include an airport and 90 sq km (35 sq miles) of solar power fields, which Madbouli said was part of a sustainable strategy.

He did not say how the venture would affect Cairo, one of the busiest and oldest cities in the world.

Reporting by Michael Georgy and Stephen Kalin; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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