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Egypt to create 5 new governorates to push decentralisation

Five new governorates, including 10 Ramadan and a '25 January', will be established by 2017 to bolster development

Ahram Online, Sunday 21 Oct 2012
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Map of Egypt's governorates
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Egypt will see five new governorates by 2017, state-owned daily Al-Ahram reports on Sunday.

The move, which will bring the number of governorates to 32, is designed to bolster development efforts by redrawing administrative boundaries, Mostafa Madbouly, head of Egypt's Urban Planning Authority, was quoted as saying.

In the eastern area, a Central Sinai governorate will be created, bringing the number of administrative areas in the peninsula to three. The new governorate will extend across Sinai with boundaries on the Suez and Aqaba coasts.

Sinai is one of Egypt's most underdeveloped areas. It is currently divided into two governorates, South and North.

Last August, the Egyptian Cabinet issued a new law that permits the locals in Sinai to own land there in a bid to encourage investment in the vast desert peninsula.

Surrounding Cairo, two new governorates of 10 Ramadan and 25 January will be created, with the latter including Helwan and Tora districts.

Egypt has a long history of centralisation, with the capital city dominating the rest of the country in terms of services and resources. All candidates in the recent presidential election included decentralisation as part of their plans for the country.

In the western area, Al-Alamein governorate will be created, extending south to the Qattara Depression. In addition, Wadi Al-Natroun will become a governorate up to Sadat City west of Cairo.

Moreover, three new planning provinces will be established, bringing the total to ten. Planning provinces are administrative lines drawn to aid in the development planning process.

The new provinces were designed as such to bring together areas which can be complementary to each other to boost competitiveness.

Central Upper Egypt will include the governorates of Assiut, Sohag, Qena and the Red Sea. Alexandria Province will include Alexandria and Wadi Al-Natroun, and Sinai Province will comprise of the whole Sinai Peninsula.

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