Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) today hosted property developers and financers at Konza Technopolis site in Malili a week before the authority relocates its operations to its newly constructed headquarters.
The forum primed to update investors on the status of the infrastructure and investment opportunities since the government recently injected Ksh12.3 billion to the Konza Technopolis project – one of the largest allocations since the initiation of the project in 2013.
Being one of Kenya’s key Vision 2030 project sitting on an expansive 5,000 acres, the smart city development grants the investors the opportunity to collaborate while developing Africa’s Silicon Savannah.
Speaking during the forum, Jerome Ochien’g, Principal Secretary Ministry of ICT said the ministry is deliberately intensifying its engagement by identifying diverse investment areas to enhance and attract private investors to government led projects such as the Konza Technopolis.
Jerome further underscored the commitment of government in supporting the project through the provision of funds and other support.
“The government has demonstrated its commitment by being the first to swing into the project following the construction of the Konza Technopolis Headquarters, The National Data Center, Infrastructure and the Establishment of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and KETRACO Substation. The government has also rehabilitated Nolturesh water pipeline to supply clean reliable water for the smart city. In total the goverment has so far committed over Kes.80b to this project,” Ochie’ng, averred.
Zealously about the project that is lined to transform the economy, the government approved funding of Kes.39 billon to the Konza Technopolis Phase 1 infrastructure which has seen works commence for a period of 42 months.
In addition, the government has set aside Kes.5.1billion to support the Data Centre and Smart City facilities, in addition establishing The Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, an anchor tenant that will be expected to provide intellectual guidance to all educational partners in Konza Technopolis.
Eng. John Tanui, Chief Executive officer KoTDA said the project is positioned to support realization of Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda. The authority has allocated 26 acres of land in Konza for various housing projects, that will cater for the high-end market and the Bottom of the Pyramid populations through provision of Affordable Housing Units.
The authority also runs additional programs targeted at developing talent for the Technopolis in partnership with institutions of higher learning. Over the weekend the agency hosted 60 students from five universities at Konza for a 48 hours hackathon.
Already, at least 17 investors have been approved to establish different investments, among them a hospital, office buildings, research and investment facilities, housing, schools and recreational facilities. This is despite 145 parcels of land of the 400 acres earmarked for Phase 1 being available for investor uptake.
To facilitate movement in and out of Konza Technopolis and reduce travel time, key roads are being paved and improved for the expected surge in the volume of traffic. “In terms of access we note that Konza will benefit from the dualling of the Nairobi-Mombasa expressway. The first section, from the Namanga Road junction near Kitengela, will have an interchange near Konza Technopolis and a spur road to the Machakos turnoff at Kyumvi,” Chief executive Officer KoTDA
Eng. Tanui challenged investors to tap local opportunities noting that it is mostly foreign investors who were active especially in large projects whose return on investment is high. “Despite our positive economic trajectory, we are witnessing a subdued private sector investment especially local investor. The uptake of investment opportunities especially mega government project by our local investors is low,” he said.
The principal secretary told the investors that the government is ready and available to help whenever needed. “We are here to not only share the investment opportunities which the team from Konza has shared with us, but also discuss on how we can work together to attract private money to this project,” he added.
Among the partners that the Ministry has worked with over the years is Huawei Technologies that has delivered on key projects among them NOFBI as well as helping Kenya deploy one of the best networks in Africa from 2G to 3G, 4G and soon 5G.
Huawei is one of the partners that has worked with Konza to support with the development of a talent pipeline that can take advantage of the Konza ICT infrastructure through internship programs 50 interns and the development of cutting edge Lab at Machakos University.
The Konza horizontal infrastructure, will be completed by the year 2022. Eng. John Tanui, CEO KoTDA said that the horizontal infrastructure will involve the urban development works to accommodate the initial buildings necessary to stimulate the subsequent phases of development, including the design and construction of 40 km of roads, parks, subservices, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, an automatic waste collection system, a few public buildings such as the police and fire station, an entrance and security feature as well as a transit hub.
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