Construction work on the proposed Konza Technology City in Machakos County will commence in October, according to Information and Communications PS Bitange Ndemo.
Dr Ndemo told a recent investors’ conference in Nairobi that construction of the Sh900 billion Konza city will start in October, adding that the ICT city is a key part of Kenya’s Vision 2030 development blueprint.
“Kenya’s goal is to become Africa’s premier ICT hub and Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KTDA) has the mandate to regulate the development of the city built specifically for technology firms,” he said.
Located 50km from Nairobi, the US’ Silicon Valley inspired project involves construction of ultra modern business centres, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities as well as residential units capable of hosting both local and international corporations on a 5,000-acre parcel of land near Machakos town.
“The project will be carried out in several phases spanning 20 years with the initial phase expected to be completed in five years,” said Dr Ndemo.
Konza technopolis is based on a model where the government offers land, legal backing and architectural plans to investors to build business process outsourcing (BPO) ventures and other facilities.
Its master plan borrows on best practice from Brazil, China and Britain.
Konza City construction is spearheaded by KTDA, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as the lead project financial adviser and dozens of consultants, including New York-based HR&A Advisors who were recently contracted to carry out the initial development of the new city.
Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged to help the Kenyan government source for international investors to finance this project, whose groundbreaking was initially slated for April but later postponed to provide more time for development planning.
Technical handles are however likely to push the groundbreaking of the park to early next year. The National Environmental Management Authority is, for example, yet to approve the project’s environmental impact study while the approval for the physical plan for the land is still pending before the lands ministry.