CAIRO: Egypt has spent millions of dollars on new urban communities over the past nine years, its housing minister said on Sunday.
Speaking at the “Story of a Homeland” conference in the New Administrative Capital, Housing and Urban Communities Minister Assem El-Gazzar said: “In the past nine years we have built 1.5 million housing units.
“We have worked to eliminate 357 unsafe areas by building more than 300,000 housing units at a construction cost exceeding 300 billion (Egyptian) pounds.”
El-Gazzar said 24 new cities that could accommodate 32 million people had been developed in the period.
The country’s Decent Life Initiative had been a major contributor to the increased urbanization, which in turn had had a significant impact on economic development, he added.
The three-day conference was attended by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and representatives from across Egyptian society.
It comprised several discussion sessions, at which the participants highlighted the government’s achievements and addressed the challenges that lie ahead.
The conference also provided a platform for political leaders to respond to citizens’ queries about political, social and economic issues.
Transport Minister Kamel Al-Wazir said that under the Decent Life Initiative 7,000 km of new roads had been built over the past nine years.
The national road network now spanned 30,000 km and served agricultural and industrial areas across the country, he said.
He added that on completion of the development plan, Egypt’s ports would have capacity for 400 million tons of goods and 40 million containers, and be able to handle 30,000 giant ships a year.
El-Sisi thanked the ministers for their efforts and said the success of the development program was testimony to their efforts and the will of the state to serve the people.