By Nixon Kanali / TechTrendsKE
Work on Konza Techno City which is going to be the biggest Techno City in Africa has officially kicked off.
The kick off comes after the settling of the boundary dispute between Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado counties over the Konza Technopolis location .
The launch of the first phase and the supporting infrastructure was presided over by His Excellency Vice President, William Ruto yesterday and is scheduled to run for four years starting. That is this year to the year 2018.
The Infrastructure development for the initial phase incorporates the construction of a 4.2 KM Access Road, power installation and the construction of water and sewerage system within the Konza Technopolis.
Speakind during the launch, the Deputy President said that at end of the first phase, Konza Techno City will contribute about Kshs. 3 billion and will be instrumental in providing jobs directly or indirectly for the youth and citizens generally
“As a government we are working towards achieving double digit GDP Growth, generate food surplus, boost industrial and manufacturing capacity and enhance the use of ICTs to reach this particular goal, Konza Techno City will be central to the attainment of this crucial goal,” he said
Disagreements by local leadership in the two Ukambani counties over the location of Konza City were a major discouragement to the 345 who were willing to invest in the project.
“We expect 100 billion investments from the investors for this project, and they cannot make that kind of investment if you leaders are disagreeing over something mundane as in which county this project is based,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had earlier already formed a Cabinet Committee of seven ministries, which include, the ministry of ICT, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Treasury, Ministry of Roads, Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development and Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to fast track the development of infrastructure for Phase One of the Konza Techno City.
Dr. Fred Matiang’i Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT who was also present during the launch said that Konza was a Vision 2030 flagship project and was an integral part of the country’s ICT Masterplan.
“The benefits of building this city far overweigh the inherent risks and perceived challenges. The construction of Phase 1 will cover 410 acres and is expected to create about 17,000 jobs upon completion,” he said.
The project will also have an Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), centre within its boundaries. 177 KM of the Standard Railway Gauge is also set to pass through the Konza Techno City.
Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) Chairman, Mr. John Ngumi said that so far with a tight budget of Kshs. 400 million in the concluded financial year, they had made some significant milestones. This includes hiring of the Master Delivery Partner 2 (MDP2), completion of the cadastral survey using GPS, drilling and equipping of 7 boreholes and installation of power lines.
The first phase will also see the project fed by three fibre optic cables to help exploit technology and generate more innovations. Mr. Ngumi also confirmed that they had teamed up with an American company to help them deliver through investors.
Konza development also puts the private sector at the centre of its execution with the government only providing land, legal backing and approving architectural plan. The Government also looks at building primary infrastructure leading to and within the Technopolis.