Egypt aims to convert 50% of projects into green projects by 2024, minister says


CAIRO: The Egyptian sovereign wealth fund plans to reinvent central Cairo as a startup hub, while developing a new asset class around the reallocation of old buildings, as the government moves to a new capital in the desert, said its managing director.

The cornerstone of the project will be the colossal Mogamma building in Tahrir Square, the former headquarters of the sprawling Egyptian bureaucracy and now gutted and awaiting a redesign into a multipurpose site likely to include serviced apartments, offices and shops. power supply.

Several consortia are competing to convert the building, which is currently owned by the fund, and the winner will be selected in a few days, CEO Ayman Soliman said in an interview.

“We advocate a master plan reinventing the entire downtown area – what we have called the Cairo Khedival,” he said, referring to Egyptian leader Khedive Ismail, under whom downtown Cairo has was built in the 1860s and 1870s.

“Khedival Cairo is rich in government-owned buildings.”

Soliman said major assets held by the fund, including former Home Office buildings a few blocks from Tahrir Square, could help create an ecosystem of startups, venture capitalists and incubators. .

The sovereign wealth fund is also seeking to develop the site on the Nile side where the seat of the former ruling National Democratic Party (NPD) was located, with a design that could include commercial, residential and hotel uses.

The NPD building was burnt down during the Egyptian uprising in 2011 and then demolished. Tahrir Square itself, which was the focal point of the uprising, has recently been redeveloped.

The fund is working with owners, operators, developers and other investors, and could acquire some vacant government assets on its own as it seeks to help transform the city center, Soliman said.

“In five years we should have a very clear and vivid manifestation of this,” he said.

The gradual relocation of government employees to the new city under construction 45 km east of Cairo, currently called the new administrative capital, is expected to start by the end of the year.

The city, whose construction was announced in 2015, is designed to eventually house 6.5 million people in order to reduce overcrowding in central Cairo.

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