In 2015, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced that the country would be changing its capital to a 'new' city that would be built 50 km east of the existing capital, Cairo. The city, named the New Administrative Capital, was set to open in 2021 but has been postponed in light of the pandemic. This move, which costs $45 billion by conservative estimates, has been criticised as a blatant display of military corruption and political showboating. But Egypt is not alone, recently Palau (2006), Burma (2005), Nigeria (1991) and Belize (1970) all have also moved to new capitals. Capital cities play an important role in signaling a country's political, cultural, and economic power. As a result, capitals are deliberately chosen to showcase elements of national pride, be it through population strength, geographic significance, or infrastructure development. Capitals are subject to change for a variety of reasons, usually with much fanfare but at a great economic burden to the nation in question. Functions of capital cities Historically the economic centre of a state or region has often also been the seat of political power. Capital cities usually attracted people whose skill set lent itself to politics or administration like lawyers, scientists,… Read full this story
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