new capital begun 2015
from zdnet- A website for the project promises that "the new capital is developed with the strategic vision for a smart city integrating its smart infrastructure to provide many services to citizens".
This vision includes: smart monitoring of traffic congestion and accidents, smart utilities to reduce consumption and cost, smart buildings and energy management including a focus on renewable energy and using IoT to save power consumption, as well as "building optical-fiber infrastructure connecting every building using FTTX technology".
Plans for a 90-square-kilometers solar (35-square-miles) farm are also part of the mix.
Alongside this, the government has announced that it intends to make the New Administrative Capital the first cashless city in the country.
The development of e-commerce, which it's hoped will be stimulated by this move, and mobile money are big strategic priorities for the government. At present, there are around 20 million active mobile payment accounts in the country, but the Egyptian Central Bank wants to double this in the next two years.
FINANCIAL AND OTHER CHALLENGES
Although plans are progressing, there have been some bumps in the road. Reuters reported last year that the "project is struggling to raise funds and needs to overcome other challenges after investors pulled out".
"We need very extensive financing," it quoted Ahmed Zaki Abdeen – a retired general who heads the company building the new city – as saying. "And the state doesn't have money to give me." As a result, around 20% of investment to date has come from overseas.
According to Abdeen, China has contributed up to $4.5bn towards the costs and China State Construction Engineering is also training 10,000 Egyptian construction workers.
Interestingly, writing in Daily News Egypt last year, Matt Walker of MTN Consulting, has stated that much of China's contribution is in the form of loans, and that "Chinese banks are lending funds only to buy Chinese equipment".
And, of course, building in the desert also brings with it other challenges. One obvious example, which Reuters highlighted, is that "the city will consume an estimated 650,000 cubic meters a day of water from the North African nation's scarce resources".