Author(s): Beesan Kassab
The government project to build a new administrative capital in the desert east of Cairo is well underway, with plans to construct ministries, residential neighborhoods, artificial lakes, conference centers, hospitals and hotels. When the project was launched in March 2015 by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, officials estimated the total cost would reach US$45 billion (nearly LE760 billion), though some current estimates put the price tag at $58 billion (nearly LE980 billion).
Despite the grand scale of the new city, which is being built on 700 square kilometers of state-owned land, and the heavy reliance on government funding, the project’s finances are not subject to any public oversight or accountability. Government officials also claim the construction project will not use any funds from the state budget, raising questions about what constitutes public funding, and how various government projects are kept beyond the reach of public scrutiny.
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