Cairo I one of the largest cities in Africa and the middle east. It is located at the focal point of a river and other land routes. The city has a high day population of over 15 million people. It was built in 1964 AD at a sight of a Roman fortress and an earlier Greek settlement.
The city became the national capital of Egypt in 1863 and it has now spread long a low spur of the Mokotam on the tight bank of the Nile to cover nearby 20km2
It’s a major commercial, recreational, residential, educational as well as a major tourist resort.
FACTORS FOR THE GROWTH OF CAIRO
- Its location at the focal point of the early caravan routes of Tunisia, Jerusalem as well as Asia minor. Such location gave Cairo a good command of this trade thereby attracting people from North and West Africa, Asia and the middle east, and others. It’s from this commercial background that the city grew and expanded to its present state.
- The gentle relief of the area. This gentle relief aided the construction of settlements as well as other infrastructures for example roads, railway lines leading to the growth and development of the town.
- The availability of fertile soils also favored the growth and development of Cairo. Being located on one of the banks of the River Nile, the area had fertile alluvial soils that favored agriculture and thus affected more people in the area. In addition, the fertile soils led to flourishing agriculture and thus more agro-based industries were set up in the area attracting more people and other investments leading to its growth and expansion.
- The role of river Nile. The river supplies fresh water for domestic as well as for industrial use and it also provides a cheap form of transport for both passengers and cargo from different parts of Egypt especially the Northern and southern parts of Egypt. The banks of the river also had fertile soils and during flood times the river supplied flood waters that were used in irrigation purposes.
- The modified climatic conditions, Egypt experienced a hot desert climate but Cairo city has a modified type of climate due to the presence of river Nile that impacts on the humidity of the area.
- Afforestation and re-afforestation programmes were also carried out in the area leading to the growth of various economic activities as people were attracted to the area due to favorable climatic conditions.
- The supportive government policy of Egypt. Government has carried out deliberate planning of the city together with funding of the various activities and setting up various infrastructures. This was so especially after the proclamation of Cairo as the capital city of Egypt in 1863.
- The city is well linked to other parts of Egypt with various modes of transport that are inland water transport in the form of river Nile, road and railway links as well as air transport from Cairo to other parts of Egypt like Alexandria, Aswan Luxor, Asyut, port Suez, port Saidi and others thereby widening the city
s fear of influence and thus leading to its growth and development.
Cairo being or having the head quarters of the Arab league has sacted as the political capital o various Arab countries of north African and the middle east. This therefore has attracted investments from such countries leading to its growth and expansion. Annually delegates from these various countries visit Cairo for various meeting and this necessitated the construction f various hotels to accommodate the delegates. It also helped to promote the tourist sector as most of the delegates after their meetings tour various attractions in the city.
The rapid population growth of Cairo. The citys population has been increasing steadily over the years for example by 1479 the city had 6.5 million people. However this has increased tremendously to over 15 million people to date. This increase in population led to increased demand of various services and facilities for example water supply, housing apartments, public works, medical centers, schools and a host of other facilities. The provision of such facilities led to the expansion of Cairo and also attracted more people in the city turning into Africa
s largest city.
The increase in industrial activities. Many industries have been setup in the city and its environs (surrounding areas) for example iron and steel, textiles, electronics, toiletries, dish ware such industries with the area attracted more people into the area leading to the citys growth and development.
- The growth of the tourism sector. Cairo is a major tourist resort and destination with plenty of attractions like the river Nile including a boat cruise, sport fishing, diving, and swimming in the Nile waters, museums, ancient buildings and their marvovrons architectural designs, the tombs of ancient pharaohs, and many other attractions. There are many tourists who visit the country to increase that is the demand for hotels and other facilities and the provision of such facilities by both the government and private investors led to the growth and development of Cairo.
- Political stability enjoyed by the city. Cairo has been for a long time been politically stable except for the recent event of 2011which had its epicentre at Tahrir square in the middle of Cairo. Such a long history of political stability has not only attracted massive investments but also created a conducive atmosphere for the growth and development of the city.
- A long history of existence. Cairo was set up in 9069 AD as one of the major towns of the Fatimid dynasty. Later it was taken up by other rulers of the Roman Empire and others giving it a long period of existence up to date. Such a long period of existence has given the city plenty of challenges as well as experiences upon which the city have depended to as to efficiently plan for the city`s growth and expansion and also have to handle various problems associated with the urban growth.