Egypt begins construction work on “Nile Tower”, Africa’s tallest building
London, Nov. 18, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Egypt has officially begun construction work on “Nile Tower” a building expected to become Africa’s tallest building at the New Administrative Capital, Cairo.
Housing Minister Asem El Gazzar witnessed the launch of the construction works on Saturday
The 80-story building and 385-meter height is to be built over an area covering some 240,000 square meter.
The minister pointed out that the Chinese company handling the project had already constructed 20 towers in the central business area in the Administrative Capital, while the tallest tower will be at the heart of the region.
In a difficult feat of engineering, the project will twist from a thin triangular base to form a rectangular skyscraper, rising 70 stories and providing a panoramic view of the Nile and—for the top floors—of the pyramids. It is meant as a monument with a message: After years of instability, Egypt is ready for investment.
Designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid in 2007, the “Nile Tower” will be part of a plan to transform the area between downtown Cairo and the Nile River into an upscale district.
The bill for the project is set at $600 million, though it’s likely to cost nearly $150 million more according to Diaa Tantawy, the design manager at Living In Interiors, the company developing the building. Right now, they face one main challenge: “The problem is in the Egyptian Pound,” Tantawy explains.
As Egypt pushes through economic reforms, the pound has weakened making imported building materials significantly more expensive. And yet despite the cost, developers are breaking ground because the construction sector is crucial to driving growth in the domestic economy and is key to the government’s plan for successful reforms.
Currently, there are 1,400 active construction projects in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital all valued at $248.2 billion. Farah Kamal, the PR coordinator for Living In Interiors, says the building shows, “The Egyptian economy and the development of the country is started again.”
The New Building
The project was first championed a decade ago under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, but was put on hold in the aftermath of the revolution that ousted him from office in 2011.
Now the building has gained support from the current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to Living In Interiors President Ashraf El Tanani.
He says that President Sisi is very keen on the project and that the government is working with Living In Interiors to get proper clearance for design aspects like the building’s height.
In terms of making it financially viable, El Tanani says that he is currently speaking to investors from across Europe. “This is very important for the economy right now in Egypt,” he says