Egypt's Government Plans New Capital City

 

Egypt’s government is planning to build a new capital city within the coming decade. The new city, which has no name yet, will be built between Cairo and the Red Sea. The new capital is expected to have an area of 700 square km, about the size of Singapore, and be home to at least 5 million people.

Egyptian authorities claim that building a new capital will help ease congestion in Cairo, Africa’s largest city, which currently has a population of about 20 million. If Egypt’s capital keeps growing at such a rate Cairo’s population will rise to 40 million people by the middle of the century.

 

Government offices, foreign embassies and other organizations will be moved to the new capital, as soon as it is finished. The new city will also serve as an education hub with new schools, colleges and universities. A modern international airport, even larger than Heathrow, is also planned. The new city will rely heavily on solar power as the main source of energy. New motorways and railroad lines are to link the capital to Cairo and the Suez Canal.

According to the government, building a new city from scratch will give a boost to Egypt’s weak economy. Those who support the project say that over a million new jobs will be created.

However, Egypt must raise an enormous amount of money for its new capital. Construction of the new city is going to cost over 45 billion US dollars. Most of the money will come from large investment companies in the United Arab Emirates.

Egypt is not the first country to move its capital city. In 1991 Nigeria moved its capital from Lagos to Abuja, recently Myanmar’s military rulers left Rangoon and set up a new government in a remote area over 200 miles  to the north. The most prominent capital city is Brasilia, which was built from scratch in the 1960s.

Egypt’s government expects many people to move from overpopulated Cairo to live and work in the new city. The Egyptian capital copes with the usual problems of a megacity - air pollution, daily traffic jams, waste and high housing costs.

 

Egypt is also working on another mega project- the enlargement of the Suez Canal. At the moment, the canal, built almost two centuries ago, allows ships to travel in only one direction. Egyptian authorities have received funding from Gulf States to make the canal larger.

 

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Word

  • according to = as said by …
  • authorities = people or organisations that are in charge of a certain field
  • billion = a thousand million
  • boost = improve, to make better
  • capital city = city which holds the government and other departments
  • century = a period of a hundred years
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • congestion = too much traffic in a city
  • construction = building
  • cope = deal with, manage
  • currently = at the moment
  • decade = ten years
  • ease = to make a situation better, improve
  • economy = system by which a country’s money and goods are produced and used
  • enlargement = here: make something bigger and wider
  • enormous amount = very very much
  • foreign embassy = building in which a group of people represent their government in another country
  • from scratch = new, from the start
  • funding = money, financial support
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • housing = giving people houses to live in
  • however = but
  • hub = centre
  • link = connect
  • mega = very large
  • megacity = very large city with millions of people
  • overpopulated = overcrowded; when too many people live in a place
  • prominent = famous
  • raise = bring up, get
  • rate = speed
  • receive = get
  • recently = shortly, not long ago
  • rely = depend on, need
  • remote = in a faraway place
  • serve = function as
  • solar = from the sun
  • source of energy = where energy comes form
  • support = to be for something
  • traffic jam = long line of cars, buses and trucks that cannot move on or only move very slowly
  • United Arab Emirates = oil-producing country in the Middle East made up of  seven small states including Abu Dhabi and Dubai
  • waste = unwanted materials that are left over after you have used up something
  • weak = not strong