Trading places: Countries that moved their capitals

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, accompanied by his vice-president Jusuf Kalla (right) and Minister of Agriculture and Land Planning Sofyan Djalil, announces the location of the country's new capital city during a press conference in Jakarta on Aug
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, accompanied by his vice-president Jusuf Kalla (right) and Minister of Agriculture and Land Planning Sofyan Djalil, announces the location of the country's new capital city during a press conference in Jakarta on Aug 26, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia is moving its capital to Borneo island from Jakarta, a traffic-clogged megalopolis that is one of the world's fastest-sinking cities. The relocation is set to start from 2024.

Here are some other countries that have moved capitals over the years:

NIGERIA: Africa's most populous country moved its capital in 1991 from teeming Lagos to Abuja, a planned city built in the 80s that was more central and less congested.

AUSTRALIA: Australia's purpose-built capital Canberra became official in the late 1920s as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, which both dwarf its modest population of about 400,000.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan moved its seat of government from Karachi on the far southern coast to the purpose-built city of Islamabad in the 60s. The new capital, developed by a Greek architect, is known for its greenery and quality living standards.

MYANMAR: Myanmar shifted its capital from Yangon to central Naypyidaw in the mid-2000s. The sprawling city has almost six times the land area of New York. It boasts a replica of Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda and a 20-lane highway, although they're often empty as the city is sparsely populated.

BRAZIL: Brazil started moving its capital to Brasilia from Rio de Janeiro in 1960. Located in the country's vast Amazon interior, it was acclaimed for large-scale modernist architecture and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan's capital Astana - recently renamed Nursultan after its ex-president - became the country's administrative centre in 1997, taking the crown from Almaty. Designed by a Japanese architect, the city is known for its futuristic skyline.

 

EGYPT: Egypt is planning to move to a new administrative capital being built in the desert some 45 kilometres from the centre of overcrowded Cairo, a city of nearly 20 million.