As part of the mega-scheme new administrative capital project, state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation(CSCEC) has agreed to build Egypt a 345m-high skyscraper, set to be Africa’s tallest building, Chinese news agency, Xinhua reported.
When completed, the 345-meter-tall skyscraper will replace South Africa’s 223-meter-tall Carlton Centre, which is currently Africa’s tallest man-made structure since it’s completion in 1973.
With a contract worth $3 billion, the company will also construct 12 business complexes, five residential buildings and two hotels over half a square kilometre. In total, the new capital will cover an area of 50km.
The project is estimated to be completed over the next four years.
Earlier this year, CSCEC withdrew from a $3 billion contract to build offices in the new capital as a result of disagreements about costs, Egypt Independent reported.
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Construction costs soared in Egypt after its pound lost nearly half its value against the dollar when the government agreed to float the currency in return for a $12bn bail-out from the IMF in November 2016.
However, the fact that CSCEC has re-entered the megaproject signals its diplomatic importance to China.
The Chinese ambassador to Cairo, Song Aiguo, explained to Xinhua that the project comes in line with China’s strategic One Belt One Road Initiative, which carries on the vision of the ancient trade route of The Silk Road, with a bold plan to connect China to the entirety of Asia and the eastern parts of Africa and Europe through six routes. The ambassador further asserts that the project will symbolise Egypt and China’s mutual cooperation for future generations.
Egypt had previously sought to develop the project with a Dubai real estate company before reaching a deal with the Chinese developer after overcoming all points of disagreement.
China and Egypt enjoy strong and growing ties politically, economically and culturally, as they celebrated the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2016, which was marked as the China-Egypt Cultural Year.
The two countries have also raised the level of their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.