November 1, 2023

Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development of Zambia: I was not surprised by the size of the great achievement of the Egyptian state in urban development... This is what is expected of

Dr. Assem El Gazzar - Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, met with Eng. Carles Milupi - Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development of Zambia, and H.E. Major Gen. Topply M. Lubaya, Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia to Egypt, and their accompanying delegation to provide the Egyptian urban experience, especially in providing housing units for low-income people, infrastructure projects, and other aspects of urban development, in the presence of officials from the Ministry, the New Urban Communities Authority, and the Chairman of the Arab Contractors Company. Dr. Assem El Gazzar began the meeting by welcoming his Zambian counterpart and the delegation accompanying him to their second country, Egypt, stressing that Egypt is fully prepared to share its experiences and successes in urban development, provide a helping hand to our brothers in Zambia, and hold meetings between specialists from the two ministries to transfer Egyptian expertise. Egyptian contracting companies are also able to implement various development projects for our brothers in African countries, including Zambia, due to their great experience and human cadres trained at the highest level, in addition to companies that manufacture various building materials. Dr. Assem El Gazzar confirmed that the urban development that Egypt is currently witnessing is an application of the outcomes of the national strategic plan for urban development “Egypt 2052,” and a large part of the plan’s outcomes have been achieved and implemented far beyond the time schedules, explaining that the first objective of the plan is doubling the development area to 14% of the total area of Egypt, which we are currently working on developing, instead of the development area before 2014, which did not exceed 6:7%. In order to achieve this goal, we have implemented a network of roads and axes that serve as arteries to connect existing urban areas and new development areas. The Minister of Housing indicated that the Egyptian state, since 2014, has begun implementing a large number of new cities within the fourth generation, which are smart and sustainable cities, to achieve quality of life for the Egyptian citizen, and each of them depends on an economic base that is commensurate with the nature of the region in which it is located. The most prominent of them is the New Administrative Capital, taking into account the Egyptian experience in providing housing units for low-income people and various social levels, implementing 250 000 modern furnished housing units as an alternative for our people residing in unsafe areas (which were eliminated permanently) in civilized societies that include various services, provide a decent life for them, and the state bears its entire cost. The Minister explained that the Egyptian state is implementing many real estate development projects in partnership with real estate developers from the private sector to provide investment opportunities for the private sector to participate in the development that the country is witnessing, besides its involvement in the implementation of seawater desalination projects and wastewater treatment in partnership with the private sector, including Orasqualia Waste Water Treatment Plant in New Cairo, pointing out that the seawater desalination plan and the safe reuse of treated water to maximize the use of water resources. Eng. Carles Milupi - Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development of Zambia, praised the efforts of the Egyptian state in achieving quality of life for its citizens, saying: I was not surprised by the size of the great achievement of the Egyptian state in urban development, as this is what is expected of Egypt. He also urged the Egyptian companies to invest in infrastructure and social housing projects in Zambia, through the PPPs, emphasizing the importance of strengthening cooperation between the two countries in urban development and benefiting from mutual experiences and expertise. During the meeting, Dr. Abdel Khalek Ibrahim - Assistant Minister of Housing for Technical Affairs, provide a presentation about the Egyptian state’s vision of improving the quality of life and the quality of the urban environment, through 5 strategies, which are: reusing unused lands, preserving historical areas, improving the quality of roads and the transportation system, developing unplanned and unsafe areas, and providing adequate housing at reasonable prices for all; citing some of the projects that have been and are being implemented within the framework of those strategies, including the development project of Ain El-Sira Lake, Ahl Masr Walkway, historic Cairo development projects, etc. The Assistant Minister of Housing for Technical Affairs also discussed the various types of new cities, their different functional roles according to their geographical location, and the desired goal of establishing each city, especially the fourth-generation cities, which represent centers for financial and business entrepreneurship and are considered economic bases that serve the region within its scope, perform services and roles that the existing urbanization failed to provide, and allow the state to intervene to develop and raise the efficiency of the existing urbanization by reducing population densities and moving citizens to reside in new cities. Dr. Sayed Ismail - Deputy Minister of Housing for Infrastructure Affairs, reviewed the status of the drinking water and sanitation systems in Egypt, the entities working in them, the roles assigned to each of them, and the current status of covering drinking water and wastewater services. 2,330 water and wastewater projects have been implemented since 2014, and the percentage of sanitation services in rural areas has increased from 12 to 43% since 2014, and it is scheduled to be fully covered by the end of the projects of the presidential initiative “A Decent Life” to develop the Egyptian countryside in its three stages. The Deputy Minister of Housing for Infrastructure Affairs pointed out the state’s tendency to reuse treated water for designated purposes instead of disposing of it, as well as benefiting from the sludge resulting from the treatment process and using it in the production of gas and organic fertilizer, in addition to the strategic plan for desalination until 2050 with a capacity of 8.8 million m3 per day. The first five-year desalination plan aims to produce 3.4 million m3 per day, which represents more than double the capacity of the desalination plants existing in Egypt. The Egyptian state has taken a decision to implement desalination plants using the PPP system. Eng. Ahmed El Assar – CEO and Chairman of the Arab Contractors Company, also provides a presentation about the history of the company, which was founded in 1955, and is considered one of the top and oldest contracting companies in the Middle East and Africa. He reviews examples of the company’s projects, including its participation in the construction of the High Dam in Aswan, its role in the construction of mega projects in Egypt, its wide spread in the African continent and the Arab countries, and the great trust gained through achieving quality and commitment. He also pointed out its current participation in JV with Elsewedy Electric Company in implementing Julius Nyerere hydropower plant and dam, on Rufiji River, in Tanzania; it represents one of the largest projects on the African continent.