Why Egypt's New Capital is Bankrupting the Country

RealLifeLore
29 Mar 202444:27

Summary

TLDRThis video script explores the development of Egypt's new administrative capital city, a grand and expensive project aimed at alleviating Cairo's overpopulation and congestion. With a staggering $58 billion already spent, the project is far over budget and behind schedule. The new city, rising from the desert, showcases lavish government buildings, religious structures, and the world's tallest structures. However, the venture is mired in economic challenges, including soaring national debt and high inflation, leading to widespread poverty. The government's intent, beyond urban planning, includes creating a secure, isolated hub to prevent revolutionary uprisings, drawing parallels to France's historical move to Versailles. Despite economic hardships, external geopolitical interests, particularly from the Gulf States, the EU, and the US, ensure continuous support, recognizing Egypt's strategic importance in the region.

Takeaways

  • 🏠 Egypt is building a massive, expensive new capital city 45 km east of Cairo, aiming to relocate the government and potentially embassies.
  • πŸ’Έ The project, initiated in 2015 with a $45 billion budget, has exceeded $58 billion for phase one alone and is behind schedule.
  • πŸ—ΌοΈ The new capital includes diverse districts, aiming for grandeur with the world's tallest flagpole and opulent governmental buildings.
  • πŸ•Œ It's designed to house up to 62 million residents, making it one of the largest urban projects of the 21st century.
  • πŸ›£οΈ The government district will be larger than Washington DC's National Mall, housing 34 ministries and the presidential palace complex.
  • πŸ› The cultural district includes the largest mosque in Egypt and the Middle East (outside Saudi Arabia) and the largest church in the Middle East.
  • 🏒 The business district boasts Africa's tallest building, with plans for an even taller skyscraper to surpass Dubai's Burj Khalifa.
  • πŸ’° Financing issues and economic challenges plague the project, amid Egypt's worsening debt, inflation, and currency devaluation crises.
  • πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» The government's handling of the project has sparked concerns over prioritizing opulence over the country's economic well-being.
  • πŸ’‘ Officially, the project aims to alleviate Cairo's congestion and overpopulation, but it also serves to consolidate governmental control and distance from potential uprisings.

Q & A

  • Why is the Egyptian government building a new capital city in the desert?

    -The Egyptian government is building a new capital to relieve congestion and reduce overpopulation in Cairo, address its rapid population growth, and improve government efficiency by centralizing its offices. Additionally, the move aims to create a modern city with advanced infrastructure, showcasing Egypt's development and ambition.

  • What are some key features of the new Egyptian capital?

    -Key features include the government district, which will be larger than the National Mall in Washington D.C., housing 34 government ministries and the Cairo flag pole, one of the world's tallest. The city will also feature a new presidential palace, the Egyptian Grand Mosque, the Nativity of Christ Cathedral, a central business district with the Iconic Tower, sports facilities, and the Green River Park, symbolizing the Nile River.

  • How much is the cost overrun for phase one of the new capital, and what has caused it?

    -The cost for phase one of the new capital has ballooned to over $58 billion, exceeding the initial budget by $13 billion. The overrun is attributed to the project's grand scale, opulence, and the construction of extravagant buildings and districts.

  • What challenges has Egypt faced during the construction of its new capital?

    -Egypt has encountered delays, cost overruns, and economic challenges. The construction has fallen behind schedule, no foreign embassies have relocated yet, and the country is dealing with high government debt, inflation, and economic crises while a significant portion of the population lives in poverty.

  • What is the significance of the Egyptian Grand Mosque and the Nativity of Christ Cathedral being built close together?

    -The close proximity of the Egyptian Grand Mosque and the Nativity of Christ Cathedral in the new capital symbolizes the peaceful coexistence between Egypt's Muslim majority and Christian minority, particularly highlighting the government's efforts to promote religious harmony.

  • How does Egypt's new capital project aim to address the country's overpopulation issue?

    -The new capital aims to alleviate overpopulation in Cairo by providing a modern alternative for government offices, businesses, and potentially millions of residents. It seeks to decentralize the population and economic activities from Cairo, which is severely congested and overpopulated.

  • Why is the location of the new capital strategically important for Egypt?

    -The location, east of Cairo, is strategically chosen to expand urban development into the desert, thus preserving the Nile Valley and Delta's limited agricultural land. It's also positioned to potentially improve security and governance by distancing government operations from the dense population centers.

  • What role does the international community play in Egypt's new capital project?

    -The international community, including countries like the UAE and organizations like the IMF, plays a crucial role in providing financial support and investments. This external support helps sustain the project amidst Egypt's economic challenges but also influences Egypt's economic policies and strategic decisions.

  • How does the new capital's design aim to prevent potential uprisings?

    -The new capital's design includes wide roads to hinder barricading, extensive surveillance systems inspired by Chinese models for monitoring, limited public transportation to control movement, and strategic placement of military headquarters to ensure rapid deployment against potential threats, thereby aiming to prevent uprisings similar to those Egypt experienced in the early 2010s.

  • What economic challenges does Egypt face that impact the new capital project?

    -Egypt faces high government debt, severe inflation, currency devaluation, reliance on wheat imports affected by global crises, and significant economic disruptions from regional conflicts. These challenges strain the country's resources, impacting the funding and progress of the new capital project.

Outlines

00:00

πŸ—οΈ Egypt's Ambitious New Capital

Egypt is constructing a new, massive capital city in the Sahara Desert, 45 km east of Cairo, referred to as the 'New Administrative Capital'. The project aims to relocate government offices and embassies from Cairo to alleviate congestion and overpopulation. Initially projected to cost $45 billion and to be completed by 2022, the project has faced significant delays and budget overruns, with phase one already exceeding $58 billion. The new capital features extravagant districts and buildings, including a government district larger than Washington DC's National Mall, the world's tallest flagpole, a presidential palace significantly larger than the White House, and the Egyptian Grand Mosque, the largest in Africa. Despite the grandeur, the capital remains largely uninhabited, raising concerns about its feasibility and impact on Egypt's economy.

05:02

πŸ•Œ Religious Harmony and Economic Ambitions

The new capital of Egypt showcases efforts towards religious harmony by constructing the largest church in the Middle East, the Nativity of Christ Cathedral, near the Grand Mosque, symbolizing coexistence between Sunni Muslims and Coptic Orthodox Christians. Additionally, the city plans ambitious projects like the Iconic Tower, Africa's tallest building, and a potential world's tallest skyscraper, the Oblisco Capy. An Olympic City complex is also under development to bid for major sports events. However, the most colossal project is the Octagon, the new Ministry of Defense headquarters, far surpassing the Pentagon in size. These developments, aimed at decentralizing Cairo's dense population, also reflect the government's lavish spending amidst economic challenges.

10:03

πŸ“ˆ Population Pressure and Strategic Relocation

Egypt's rapid population growth, primarily concentrated along the Nile, has led to severe overcrowding and infrastructure strain in Cairo, the current capital. The government views the new capital as a solution to reduce congestion and improve living conditions. However, the project also serves a strategic purpose for President el-Sisi to mitigate political instability risks. By relocating government functions away from dense population centers, the new capital aims to reduce the likelihood of mass protests similar to those in 2011 and 2013 that significantly impacted Egyptian politics. The wide avenues and advanced surveillance in the new city are designed to discourage and control potential dissent.

15:04

πŸ›‘οΈ Securing Power Through Urban Planning

The new Egyptian capital's design reflects President el-Sisi's efforts to secure his regime against potential uprisings. By moving critical government functions away from Cairo, el-Sisi aims to make it challenging for mass protests to impact governance directly. The city's layout, surveillance systems, and limited public transportation are strategically planned to suppress dissent. Additionally, the proximity of the massive Ministry of Defense complex provides a rapid military response capability. This approach mirrors historical examples, like the French monarchy's move to Versailles, aimed at distancing rulers from the populace to maintain control.

20:05

🌍 Egypt's Economic Challenges Amid Grand Visions

Despite the grandeur of its new capital, Egypt faces significant economic challenges, including soaring debt, inflation, and currency devaluation. The extensive public spending on the new capital, funded by selling state assets and increasing government debt, has sparked concerns about financial sustainability. This spending comes at a time when a third of Egyptians live in poverty, and economic crises loom. The project's scale and cost, alongside Egypt's reliance on foreign loans and aid, raise questions about the long-term impact on the nation's economy and the government's priorities in addressing the needs of its people.

25:06

🌐 Geopolitical Dynamics and Foreign Support

Egypt's strategic location and large population make it a critical player in regional and global geopolitics, ensuring continued support from Gulf states, the EU, and the US despite its internal economic troubles. These external backers are motivated by interests ranging from maintaining stability and access to the Suez Canal to countering political Islamist movements. Investments and aid from these partners help sustain Egypt's economy and fund projects like the new capital, highlighting the complex interplay between Egypt's domestic ambitions and its geopolitical value. However, this external support also underscores concerns about Egypt's sovereignty and the implications of reliance on foreign assistance.

30:08

πŸ” A Delicate Balance: Development and Stability

Egypt's development of its new capital reflects a balancing act between showcasing modernization and addressing economic vulnerabilities. The extensive foreign investments and aid underscore Egypt's geopolitical significance but also highlight the precarious nature of its financial stability. As the government pursues grand infrastructure projects, the economic realities of debt, inflation, and poverty pose significant challenges. The situation raises questions about the sustainability of Egypt's development model, which relies heavily on external support, and the potential consequences for its political and economic independence.

Mindmap

Keywords

πŸ’‘New Administrative Capital

The New Administrative Capital is a massive, exorbitantly expensive urban development project initiated by the Egyptian government, aimed at relocating the country's capital from Cairo to a new location in the desert, 45 km east of Cairo. This project is characterized by its grand scale and ambition, including various districts with specific functions, such as government buildings, cultural centers, and residential areas. It serves as a response to overpopulation and congestion in Cairo, but has faced significant delays and cost overruns, raising concerns about its impact on Egypt's economy.

πŸ’‘Overpopulation in Cairo

Overpopulation in Cairo is identified as a critical issue, with the city's population density among the highest in the world. This has led to severe congestion, inefficiency in government operations, and a strain on resources. The Egyptian government views the New Administrative Capital project as a solution to alleviate these problems by redistributing the population and creating a more manageable urban environment. However, the effectiveness of this strategy remains to be seen.

πŸ’‘Economic Crisis

Egypt faces a profound economic crisis characterized by soaring debt, high inflation, and a depreciating currency. The crisis is exacerbated by the enormous financial burden of constructing the New Administrative Capital, alongside other external and internal challenges like global pandemics and geopolitical conflicts. Despite these economic woes, the project continues, funded by substantial public resources and loans, raising concerns about its sustainability and impact on the nation's financial health.

πŸ’‘Military Involvement

The Egyptian military plays a significant role in the country's economy and the New Administrative Capital project. It is deeply involved in various sectors and oversees the construction of the new capital through a government-owned company, benefiting financially from contracts and investments. This involvement reflects the military's broader influence in Egypt's political and economic life, complicating efforts for economic reform and raising questions about transparency and accountability.

πŸ’‘Government Relocation

The relocation of Egypt's government to the New Administrative Capital is a central aspect of the project, intended to decentralize administrative functions from Cairo. This move includes transferring ministries, parliament, and the presidential palace to the new city, aiming to improve operational efficiency and security. However, it also represents a physical and symbolic separation of the government from the populace, potentially impacting governance and public access.

πŸ’‘Infrastructure and Buildings

The New Administrative Capital features ambitious infrastructure and building projects, including the world's tallest flagpole, a sprawling government district, and a mega mosque. These structures symbolize the government's vision of grandeur and modernity but also highlight the project's enormous financial scale. Critics argue that the focus on opulent buildings contrasts sharply with the country's broader economic difficulties and priorities.

πŸ’‘International Support

International support, particularly from Gulf States and the European Union, plays a crucial role in sustaining Egypt's economy and the capital project. Investments and aid packages from these external partners are aimed at stabilizing Egypt politically and economically, reflecting the country's strategic importance. However, this support also ties Egypt's financial stability to geopolitical interests, creating a complex web of dependencies.

πŸ’‘Public Opinion and Criticism

Public opinion and criticism concerning the New Administrative Capital and Egypt's economic direction are mixed. While some view the project as a necessary step toward modernization and decongestion, others see it as an extravagant misuse of resources amid widespread poverty and economic hardship. The government's prioritization of this grand project over immediate economic challenges has sparked debate about its long-term viability and social equity.

πŸ’‘Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is highlighted as a vital economic asset for Egypt, facilitating global trade and generating significant revenue for the government. However, geopolitical conflicts and security threats in the region have impacted its operations and earnings, demonstrating the canal's sensitivity to external factors. The canal's importance underscores Egypt's strategic location and its role in international maritime trade.

πŸ’‘Population Growth

Egypt's rapid population growth exacerbates the challenges of overpopulation, urban congestion, and resource allocation. The government views the New Administrative Capital as a part of its strategy to manage this growth by creating new urban spaces. However, the project's ability to effectively address the underlying issues of fertility rates and population distribution remains uncertain, with significant implications for the country's future demographic and economic landscape.

Highlights

Egypt is constructing a massive new capital city in the Sahara Desert, east of Cairo, aiming to alleviate congestion in Cairo and serve as a new administrative hub.

The new capital is yet unnamed and is referred to as the New Administrative Capital, with ambitions to host 62 million residents, making it one of the largest urban projects of the 21st century.

Originally estimated at $45 billion, the cost for phase one of the capital has escalated to over $58 billion, significantly over budget.

The government district of the new capital is designed to be 80% larger than the National Mall in Washington D.C., featuring the world's tallest flagpole.

The new capital includes a sprawling presidential palace complex, vastly larger than the White House, with a throne hall decorated in solid gold.

Egypt's new Islamic Cultural Center within the capital is set to be the largest mosque in Africa and the Middle East outside of Saudi Arabia.

The Nativity of Christ Cathedral, built close to the Grand Mosque, symbolizes peaceful coexistence between Egypt’s Muslim and Christian communities.

The Central Business District features the Iconic Tower, the tallest building in Africa, and plans for the Obelisco Capitale, which would be the world’s tallest building.

The new capital's Olympic City aims to position Egypt as a future host for major international sports events.

The Ministry of Defense's new headquarters, known as the Octagon, is the world’s largest office building, significantly surpassing the Pentagon.

Despite the new capital's grandeur, Egypt faces severe economic challenges, including high government debt, inflation, and a depreciating currency.

The project has drawn criticism for its extravagant costs amid widespread poverty and economic crisis in Egypt.

The Egyptian government views the new capital as a means to prevent future revolts by distancing government operations from densely populated Cairo.

The new capital's design features wide avenues and extensive surveillance to counter potential protests, drawing inspiration from Chinese security systems.

International investments and aid, particularly from Gulf states and the European Union, play a crucial role in sustaining Egypt's economy and the capital project.

Egypt's strategic importance, due to its location and control of the Suez Canal, compels international support despite its domestic challenges.

Transcripts

00:00

something incredible is rising out of

00:01

what used to be the middle of nowhere in

00:03

the Sahara Desert 28 M or 45 km east of

00:06

Egypt's current capital city Cairo the

00:08

Egyptian government is busy building a

00:10

massive and exorbitantly expensive brand

00:13

new capital city from scratch an

00:15

official new name for this new capital

00:17

city has not yet been chosen and so it

00:19

so far has only been referred to by its

00:20

placeholder name the new administrative

00:22

Capital once it's completed the Egyptian

00:24

government plans to fully relocate all

00:26

of its offices and Personnel from the

00:27

old capital in Cairo and the government

00:29

willing encourage every foreign country

00:31

who has an embassy in Egypt to relocate

00:32

their own staff to the new capital as

00:34

well the government hopes that the new

00:36

capital will one day be home to 62

00:38

million residents after it's finished

00:40

being built which will almost certainly

00:42

make it the largest new settlement

00:44

founded anywhere in the world in the

00:45

21st century if it all goes according to

00:48

plan but for now despite all of the

00:51

Grandeur and scale this massive glittery

00:53

New Capital City rising out of the empty

00:55

desert remains about as empty as the aid

00:57

environment that surrounds it welc

00:59

construction has gotten itself far

01:01

behind schedule and enormously over

01:03

budget when the new capital was

01:05

initially proposed back in 2015 the

01:07

Egyptian government claimed that it

01:08

would all be constructed for only $45

01:11

billion and largely finished by 2022 but

01:14

now in 2024 only a handful of government

01:17

Ministries have been moved in no foreign

01:19

embassies have relocated at all and

01:20

construction is still ongoing while the

01:22

cost for only phase one of the new

01:24

capital has already ballooned to more

01:26

than $58 billion 13 billion dollars over

01:31

budget there are many reasons why but a

01:33

big part of it is simply because of the

01:35

sheer scale and opulence that's being

01:37

put on display by the government here

01:39

phase one of the new capital has

01:40

included the development of multiple

01:42

different districts within the new city

01:43

that will serve various different

01:45

purposes and many of them include some

01:47

of the most outrageous and absurd

01:49

buildings ever conceived of in human

01:51

history one of these districts arising

01:53

from the Sands is the government

01:54

District that will become the Egyptian

01:56

State's brand new nerve center once

01:58

completed this district is intended to

02:00

become the new headquarters for 34 of

02:03

Egypt's government Ministries in

02:05

addition to the country's two chambers

02:06

of parliament the House of

02:08

Representatives and the Senate at 550

02:10

acres in size this government district

02:12

will be Approximately 80% larger than

02:14

the National Mall is within America's

02:16

capital Washington DC and it'll contain

02:19

several more imposing buildings than are

02:21

present in Washington including the

02:23

world's tallest flag pole dubbed the

02:25

Cairo flag pole it was already raised in

02:27

2021 and stands 27 M or 680 ft High

02:32

considerably taller than the Washington

02:34

Monument is in DC while the flag it

02:37

flies is roughly the same size as two

02:39

standard basketball courts placed side

02:41

by side just to the north of this

02:43

sprawling government district is another

02:45

District of about equivalent size but

02:46

which is fully dedicated to only housing

02:49

the new presidential Palace complex

02:51

which will become the new home residence

02:53

of Egypt's President the building that

02:55

encompasses the presidential Palace

02:57

itself is enormous at around 50,000

03:00

square m of total floor space which for

03:02

perspective is roughly 10 times larger

03:05

than the White House in Washington DC

03:07

that serves as the American president's

03:09

residence and leaked photos of the

03:11

inside of the Egyptian Palace have

03:13

revealed what appears to be an ornate

03:14

Throne Hall that resembles the opulent

03:16

palaces of Islamic Sultans from

03:18

centuries past that has allegedly been

03:21

decorated with solid gold and then the

03:23

walls that surround the palace complex

03:25

will include a series of gardens that

03:27

Sproul across an estate more than two

03:29

square kilometers in area that's roughly

03:32

four times as large as the waloff

03:34

Vatican City is that's the home of the

03:36

Pope the new presidential Palace complex

03:38

alone has reportedly cost the Egyptian

03:40

State somewhere around $3 billion to

03:43

construct which puts it on a scale of

03:45

opulence comparable to Buckingham Palace

03:47

in London that's the home of the British

03:49

monarch and which has independently been

03:51

valued by appraisers to be worth

03:53

approximately $5

03:55

billion over on the opposite southern

03:57

end of the government district is

03:58

Egypt's new Islamic cultural Center a

04:00

mega mosque that is also sometimes

04:02

officially referred to as the Egyptian

04:04

Grand Mosque inaugurated only last year

04:07

in 2023 the Grand Mosque was a huge

04:10

undertaking drawing from traditional

04:12

medieval Egyptian mamalu Islamic

04:14

architecture it covers an area of

04:16

250,000 square m and can accommodate

04:19

more than 131,000 worshippers at a given

04:22

time which not only makes it the largest

04:24

mosque in Egypt but the largest mosque

04:26

on the entire African continent and the

04:29

largest mosque in in the Middle East

04:30

outside of Saudi Arabia's holiest

04:32

mosques in Mecca and Medina the Egyptian

04:34

Grand Mosque broke multiple World

04:36

Records when it was completed including

04:38

the heaviest and largest chandelier in

04:40

the world this more than 53,000 lb or

04:43

24,000 kg in weight with a diameter of

04:46

72 ft or 22 M and the highest pulpit in

04:51

the world it's nearly 17 M or 55 ft tall

04:55

and it's not even the only Mega

04:56

religious building to have been

04:58

constructed in the new capital there's

04:59

also the newly built Nativity of Christ

05:01

Cathedral nearby a mega church that's

05:04

the biggest church to have ever been

05:06

constructed in the Middle East the

05:07

church is a cathedral dedicated to

05:09

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox community and

05:11

the construction of the cathedral so

05:13

close to the Grand Mosque within the new

05:15

capital was deliberately designed as a

05:17

symbol of peaceful coexistence between

05:19

Egypt's two largest religious

05:21

communities well it's estimated that

05:23

around 90% of Egypt's contemporary

05:25

population are followers of Sunni Islam

05:27

the remaining 10% of the population

05:29

rested to be Coptic Orthodox Christians

05:32

which makes them by far Egypt's largest

05:34

religious minority group and with a

05:36

population of around 11 million in Egypt

05:38

they're also by far the largest

05:40

Christian Community in the Middle East

05:42

as well further west to these new

05:44

religious buildings in the government

05:45

district is going to be the new Capitol

05:47

Central business district with some

05:49

highly ambitious projects of its own

05:51

among them is the already completed

05:53

iconic Tower which was built with the

05:55

help of the China State construction

05:56

Engineering Corporation with a total of

05:58

79 floors coming out to

06:00

1,293 Ft or 394 m in height the iconic

06:05

Tower is already the tallest building in

06:07

Africa with an exterior shell designed

06:09

to resemble the crown worn by the

06:10

ancient Egyptian godam moon as depicted

06:13

in Egyptian hieroglyphics but apparently

06:15

not satisfied with merely having the

06:17

tallest building in Africa the new

06:19

capitals planners are evidently still

06:21

plotting to construct the tallest

06:23

building in the entire world within the

06:25

new Central business district as well

06:27

that'll be called the oblisco copy

06:30

taking its design inspiration from an

06:31

ancient Obelisk of fonic Egypt this Mega

06:34

tall skyscraper is currently planned to

06:36

have a total of 165 floors and a total

06:40

architectural height of 1,000 M or an

06:43

entire kilometer construction on the

06:45

building is currently expected to begin

06:47

sometime this year in 2024 and if

06:50

completed by its Target finishing date

06:51

of 2030 it will seize the title of the

06:54

tallest structure in the world from the

06:56

current record holder the bur Khalifa in

06:58

Dubai which would only stand 170 m

07:01

shorter than the oblisco copy Tall might

07:04

but the cost of this massive building

07:06

will carry with it an equally massive

07:08

price tag currently estimated to be at

07:10

least another $3.2 billion and even that

07:14

is probably a big underestimation and

07:17

since Egypt is already beginning to

07:18

encounter some pretty serious financial

07:20

difficulties it remains to be seen

07:23

whether or not this part of the project

07:24

will actually end up getting built or

07:26

not then there's also the brand new

07:28

Olympic City complex with than the new

07:29

capital which is being specifically

07:31

built to enable Egypt to be competitive

07:33

when they submit bids to host major

07:34

worldwide sporting events in the future

07:36

like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup

07:38

more than 22 separate sporting

07:40

facilities are being constructed within

07:41

the complex including a major Neo

07:43

association football stadium that will

07:45

have a seating capacity for 94,000

07:48

people which will make it the second

07:49

largest football stadium in Africa and

07:51

the eighth largest one worldwide and

07:54

then in Phase one's southwest corner is

07:56

rising the single largest district and

07:58

building in the entire New Capital the

08:00

new headquarters for the Egyptian

08:02

Ministry of Defense known as the Octagon

08:04

considered far too important and large

08:07

to be mirely contained within the

08:08

regular government District of the new

08:10

capital that houses all of the 34 other

08:12

Egyptian government Ministries the

08:14

ministry of defense's new headquarters

08:15

here will consist of 10 new buildings in

08:18

an octagonal shape that will Sproul

08:20

across an area of more than 22,000 Acres

08:24

which is larger than the independent

08:25

nation of San Marino that's owned to

08:28

34,000 people the Octagon floor space

08:31

across these 10 buildings will include

08:32

approximately 505 million square ft of

08:35

area under roof which will make it by

08:38

far the biggest office building at

08:40

defense headquarters of any military in

08:42

the entire world coming in with nearly

08:44

eight times as much floor space as the

08:46

Pentagon near Washington DC that serves

08:48

as the headquarters for the US

08:50

Department of Defense this is despite

08:52

the fact that 1 of Egypt's defense

08:54

budget is provided as a grant by the

08:56

United States and even with that Grant

08:59

the Egyptian defense budget is currently

09:00

only the 35th largest in the world and

09:03

is lower than that of Belgium which

09:05

isn't exactly well known for being a

09:07

military Powerhouse deserving of the

09:08

largest military defense complex in the

09:11

world at any rate connecting all of

09:13

these districts together will be the

09:14

Green River Park flowing through the new

09:16

capital Center designed to symbolize the

09:18

flow of the Nile River itself through

09:20

Egypt in its first phase undergoing its

09:22

finishing touches right now the park

09:24

will be 6 M or about 10 km long which

09:28

will make it double the size of Central

09:30

Park in New York City and when it's

09:31

extended out to its fully intended size

09:33

in the future phases it's expected to

09:35

reach an almost comical length of 22 M

09:39

or 35 km which will make it roughly six

09:42

times larger than New York Central Park

09:44

by then eight fully residential

09:46

districts are also planned to be

09:48

constructed along the park perimeter

09:49

interspersed between wide Avenues and

09:51

highways that connect to the government

09:53

business religious and sports districts

09:55

with other smaller districts I didn't

09:57

even cover like an entirely separate

09:59

sports city a knowledge city intended to

10:01

be the site of foreign universities an

10:02

arts and culture City a banking District

10:04

a Medical Campus an expo City for

10:07

hosting major conventions and a brand

10:08

new big International Airport with all

10:11

of that being crammed together in here

10:13

it's fairly easy to see how it's gotten

10:15

to the point where the Egyptians have

10:16

already blown through more than $58

10:18

billion building this thing and it's all

10:21

coming at a time when Egypt's government

10:22

debt has soore to alltime highs

10:25

inflation is soore to all-time highs the

10:27

Egyptian currency is crashed to all-time

10:29

lows and the country is facing its worst

10:32

economic crisis in decades tens of

10:34

billions of dollars are being blown on

10:36

this extravagant New Capital City while

10:39

onethird of the Egyptian population

10:41

continues to live in poverty and the

10:42

people are dealing with all-time high

10:44

inflation in an all-time low valued

10:47

currency and so perhaps understandably

10:50

there's a genuine concern among many

10:52

that this flashy New Capital arising in

10:54

the desert is contributing to the

10:56

bankruptcy of the entire country and few

10:58

believe that Egypt can actually afford

11:01

this scale of extravagance in the desert

11:03

and so that then begs the question why

11:06

is the Egyptian government apparently so

11:08

willing to bankrupt itself to build this

11:10

massive new capital city in the first

11:13

place officially the Egyptian government

11:15

has stated that this new administrative

11:17

Capital project is primarily necessary

11:19

to relieve congestion and reduce

11:21

overpopulation in Cairo itself which is

11:23

a very big and crippling issue that the

11:25

country is actually struggling to

11:27

address Egypt's true shape isn't really

11:30

what you see it as on maps because most

11:32

of the country is dominated by the

11:34

inhospitable Sahara Desert where

11:36

Agriculture and life are each

11:37

practically impossible where it not for

11:39

the seemingly endless supplies of water

11:41

in the N River that carves across this

11:43

Barren landscape and fans out in the

11:45

north across a Delta region that empties

11:47

out into the Mediterranean Egypt would

11:49

likely be as sparsely populated and

11:51

Barren as neighboring Libya which only

11:53

has a population of fewer than 7 million

11:55

people but Egypt does have the Nile and

11:58

the Nile has brought Egypt life for

12:00

thousands of years it carves out what is

12:03

the largest Oasis in the entire world

12:06

and even today provides an overwhelming

12:08

97% of Egypt's entire supply of freshwat

12:11

the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta

12:13

regions of Egypt are therefore the true

12:15

cores of the country and everything else

12:17

around it to the west and to the East

12:18

are basically empty deserts that are

12:20

largely only useful for serving as

12:22

protective buffer zones of the core and

12:24

while the Nile River is very long it is

12:26

also very narrow which makes the valley

12:28

in the delta regions combined only about

12:30

the same area as Slovakia and Europe but

12:34

95% of Egypt's entire contemporary

12:36

population lives within either the small

12:38

Valley or the small Delta regions and

12:41

with a total estimated population in

12:42

2024 of 107 million people that's about

12:46

102 million Egyptians who are all

12:49

crammed up into a space that's only

12:51

about the same size as Slovakia which is

12:53

roughly equivalent to the combined

12:55

populations of all of Spain and Italy

12:57

this makes Egypt's core area within the

12:59

Nile Valley and Delta among the most

13:01

densely populated and overcrowded places

13:03

in the entire world with an average

13:05

population density across the region of

13:07

at least 2,000 people per square

13:09

kilometer this is Egypt's true shape and

13:12

so if Egypt's population density was

13:14

more accurately measured as being just

13:16

the density within the Nile Valley and

13:18

Delta it would be ranked as the third

13:19

most densely populated country in the

13:21

world remaining only behind the tiny

13:23

city states of Monaco and Singapore and

13:26

Egypt's population has been growing

13:27

rapidly for decades now now 74 years ago

13:30

now back in 1950 the entire Egyptian

13:33

population Nationwide was only a little

13:35

more than 21 million people and within a

13:38

single lifetime since then the country's

13:40

population has exploded more than five

13:43

times over again to the current

13:45

estimated population of around 107

13:47

million the largest population in the

13:49

Middle East and it's only expected to

13:51

continue growing even further from here

13:53

for several more decades to come as of

13:56

2023 the fertility rate in Egypt has

13:58

remained well above the world average

14:00

and continues to sit at around 2.8

14:03

children per woman and though it has

14:05

been decreasing with time Egypt's

14:07

population is still projected to climb

14:09

up to 160 million people by the middle