Plans by Egypt to embrace Japanese high-speed-rail technology moved closer to becoming a reality in March after the North African country signed a loan agreement with Japan for the construction of a new $1.2-billion metro line in Cairo. The loan agreement for $400 million, which is the first portion to be channeled through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, will enable Egypt to start phase-one construction in September of the metro's Line 4 as the new government moves to address chronic traffic chaos in Africa’s largest city.
The contract will be awarded to a Japanese firm, according to the terms of the loan agreement. Phase one runs 18 kilometers in length, with 17 stations. A detailed engineering design is being prepared by a joint team of Egyptian and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) experts and will be released ahead of the contract award.