The National Assembly’s Communication, Information and Innovation Committee has committed to fast-track the passing of the Technopolis Bill once it is tabled in Parliament.
This will be done to speed up the process of putting together the structures that will support the acceleration of the Konza Technopolis’ development, which is Kenya’s Vision 2030 flagship project.
The chairman of the Communication, Information and Innovation Committee of the National Assembly Hon. John Kiarie, MP for Dagoretti South Constituency said that the committee members will mobilize their fellow legislators to support the passing of the bill.
“As a committee, we are assuring you of our commitment to ensure the Bill is passed within the shortest time possible once it is tabled in the House,” Hon. Kiarie, said today during an inspection tour of Konza Technopolis.
The Technopolis Bill was approved by the Cabinet on Monday, 9 October 2023, during its weekly sitting in Kisumu. The Bill upgrades the legal framework governing Konza Technopolis and the Konza Technopolis Development Authority to an Act of Parliament. The legal framework provides for a more predictable framework for the advancement of science, technology and innovation through technological hubs.
Konza Technopolis was anchored in a legal Notice in 2012. With the plan to anchor the Technopolis under an Act of Parliament, the institution will acquire a formal legal status and be able to undertake similar smart city projects around the country.
Following the cabinet approval, the Bill is set to be transmitted to the National Assembly where the speaker will submit it to the Kiarie’s led Committee for consideration.
“We expect to receive the Bill any time and once we get it, we will expedite it,” Kiarie said.
The Committee also promised to push for the allocation of resources to enable Konza Technopolis Development Authority to settle its pending bills. “Preparation of the next budget is underway and we intend to ensure that you receive an allocation to expedite settling the pending bills and completing the remaining works,” Kiarie said.
According to the CEO John Paul Okwiri, Konza Technopolis is now in an accelerated development phase with a focus on delivering the first phase of the project on target. This critical phase will be characterised by the completion of phase 1 infrastructure development and the operationalisation of investor projects and investments.
Mr. Okwiri explained that phase 1 of horizontal infrastructure is currently at 93% completion rate and includes the construction of roads, drainage and underground utility tunnels which set a foundation for a truly smart city. He added that this investment is beginning to show as Konza Technopolis was recently awarded for Excellence in Smart City Development at the Africa Public Sector Conference & Awards – 2023 that took place in the recently concluded Africa Climate Summit.
To commence the second phase within schedule, the Authority asked the parliament to ensure adequate budgetary allocation in line with its proposals to the Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy. “As a Vision 2030 project, we are now on course towards and given the remaining period, we will require adequate resources allocated to us to enable us to achieve the targets set for this transformational project,” Prof. Raphael Munavu, Chairman of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority Board informed the Committee.
Prof. Munavu noted that the completion of the projects will be a major boost to Konza as it prepares to host the International Association of Science Park in September 2024. Kenya was granted the right to host the global event during this year’s event.