ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2018 (WAM) — The main city of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana, marks its 20th anniversary since gaining the official status as its capital.
The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed the corresponding decree on 6th July, 1997. Today, Astana is the political and economic centre of the Eurasian continent.
According to Kazinform News Agency, Akmola construction was financed by foreign investments. “We have managed to get foreign investments under a 10-year non-interest loan. Many landmarks and facilities in the city were built thanks to grants and Astana authorities did not have to provide any refunds,” the President of Kazakhstan said.
In one of his interviews, President Nazarbayev revealed that 20 years ago the contest for Astana city development had sparked intense interest among world-renowned architects.
Over 50 projects from Japan, the US, Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Finland, the Republic of Korea, Bulgaria and other countries were submitted.
Out of the 50 projects, 27 were selected for the contest. Prominent Japanese architect, Kisho Kurokawa, was picked as the winner for his “Principle of Life” project, which was the most original among the submissions.
Construction of the Baiterek Monument, the symbol of the city and its main landmark, began in 2002. It was designed by architect Akmurza Rustembekov.
World leaders and foreign dignitaries often visit the monument, which gives a bird’s eye view of the entire city.
A year later, construction of the headquarters of the largest oil and gas company commenced. Construction of the Akorda Presidential Residence began afterwards.
Basically, the city was built in just a decade, and it has become not just a capital city, but a venue for high-level international meetings, talks and summits.
In 2017, it successfully hosted the EXPO-2017 exhibition bringing together over 40 countries of the world. The theme, “The Future Energy,” showed Kazakhstan’s spirit and its strive to move forward, prosper and soar to new heights.
Since 1997, Astana’s population has more than tripled to 1,026,181 as of 1st November, 2017. As many as 75 to 80 newborns come into this world every day at the perinatal centres of the city.