Cairo: 2050, The Project - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

Cairo: 2050, The Project

By Ahmed El Maghraby

CAIRO: 2050 IS ALONG-TERM PLAN FOR Cairo, which aims at reversing urban deterioration and improving the quality of life. The city has had an explosive growth over the years. Today, Cairo accounts for 22 percent of Egypt’s population and 43 percent of the country’s urban population. 55 percent of all universities, 46 percent of all hospital beds and 43 percent of all jobs lie within the Cairo region.

If we leave the situation as it is, in the year 2022 we will probably be living in a city… of 28 million people. We have to do something, this is not a choice, this is not something that we can wait on. We must move now.

I’m not saying that we should move now to try to keep the population at 16 million. I’m only hoping that we can contain the increase in the population of Greater Cairo to 24 million rather than 28 million. ‘That’s a huge number, but it’s a good target.

The housing ministry is for the first time producing comprehensive development plans for the different governorates and districts of Egypt. It is the fist time that a development plan had been formulated for the more than 4,600 villages in Egypt. New urban developments across Egypt, including Upper Egypt and the Red Sea, made possible by the new roads being built, will lead to a population shift away from Cairo. We are also increasing the rate at which we are developing the new urban cities or new communities to encourage settlements at faster rates there to relieve the pressure on greater Cairo. The housing ministry has a programme for establishing new villages near old ones to curtail the growth of buildings on agricultural land. The target is to build about 400 new villages to absorb 4 million people by 2022.

To lessen overcrowding, ministries are being relocated to an area near New Cairo. The ministry is also working to improve traffic flows around Cairo. All 13 of Cairo’s water stations are being either rebuilt or renovated to increase capacity. We ran at full capacity in the summer of 2007, but in the summer of 2008 and those after we will go to a much more normal situation where there is capacity to absorb the increasing population, at least until 2030. – Adapted from a lecture by Ahmed El Maghraby, Egypt Minister of Housing and Urban Development, at the American Chamber of Commerce, in June2007…

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