Egypt's New Republic: what is happening?

New Egyptian parliament in the New Administrative Capital in Egypt (Photo by Shutterstock).

Egypt's New Republic means major economic and social transformation in the country, writes Ahmad Abdul-Rahman.

The New Republic is a term that has been repeated a great deal recently. It is a slogan used by Egypt as evidence of the transformation that its peoples are witnessing in all aspects of life.

In 2015, Egypt began to develop a sustainable development vision through Egypt Vision 2030 to develop and modernise the country in various fields and sectors. The development and construction movement began in an integrated and rapid manner, and the New Administrative Capital was built. It is one of the cities of the fourth generation.

Abdel Moneim El-Sayed, director of the Cairo Center for Economic and Strategic Studies, says that the transformation began in 2015.  The country went through the economic digital transformation or what is called economic digitisation. The New Administrative Capital was born.

The new capital is a national project that is considered to be a a major turning point for the entire Middle East region. So far, more than EGP 500 billion (USD 27.5 million) has been spent from outside the state budget by the Egyptian government.

Overcrowding

The New Administrative Capital project is also a solution to the problem of overcrowding in Cairo. A study by the World Bank in 2014 stated that Egypt loses EGP47 billion annually due to congestion in Greater Cairo. This study also expected this loss to rise to EGP80 billion by 2030 if the problem of congestion persists.

It is also expected that the population of Egypt will exceed 160 million by 2050. Egypt also needs one million housing apartments annually.

To confront these obstacles and crises, the Egyptian government has had to act. Therefore, president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi took the decision to build a new capital east of Cairo. He aims to achieve a boom in the provision of government services to citizens, and to build new cities and projects to accommodate the future population increase.

New projects

Moneim explained that the cost of the major national projects that the state began implementing in June 2014 amounts to about EGP 5.8 trillion (USD 3 million). Thirty cities will be built in total over 580,000 acres and will accommodate 30 million people. Egypt has also gotten three new airports and five military bases. Moreover, the inhabited area of ​​Egypt has increased for the first time in hundreds of years from seven per cent to 12 per cent in seven years. Several national projects were also implemented in all sectors because of the new Suez Canal and the New Administrative Capital.  This resulted in the reclamation of one and a half million acres of land.

The National Roads Project will also add 8,300 km of roads, bridges, major highways, and four tunnels that link Sinai to the Nile Delta. There are also greenhouses and fisheries projects, planning for the implementation and establishment of 22 complexes and industrial zones. To date,13 industrial zones have opened, and four new ones will open this year. This is in addition to establishing and developing three power stations with the Siemens company of Germany. The government also plans to convert the electricity deficit in Egypt to a surplus that it will export to Sudan and Jordan.

A project to develop Lake Ain El-Sira, Tahrir Square, Magra El-Ayoun, Maspero, People of Egypt Walk, New Alamein and New Mansoura is also being implemented. Many of these projects will be completed and opened during the current year. The Egyptian government is also implementing other major projects in various fields, as well as building social housing project, including two million housing units, utilities, infrastructure, smart cities, fourth-generation cities, and the shantytowns development project. The total cost of those projects amounted to more than EGP36 billion from 2014 to 2021. Compare this with what was spent on developing shantytowns in Egypt from 2003 to 2013 which amounted to only EGP653 million. This is in addition to military spend that led to the rise of the Egyptian army's rank to among the top 10 armies in the world. and the development and opening of many museums, led by the Museum of Civilization.

The New Republic

The New Republic includes a new economic and social transformation and a national strategy for digital transformation that includes combating corruption and achieving sustainable development through the modernisation of industry and agriculture. The New Republic also includes empowering youth and women and modernity that encourages investment and improves life. Comprehensive and sustainable economic development is the most important component of building the New Republic. It aims to reform development policies. These developments were reflected in the rise of Egypt's ranking in the Human Development Index, which covers indicators such as life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living, according to data from the Egypt Human Development Report 2021 issued by the United Nations.

The launch of the term New Republic in Egypt is significant. It expresses the country's success in transforming challenges into promising development opportunities and achieving  historical achievements.

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Sunday, 25 September 2022