The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo and the Senate ICT Committee led by the Chairperson Sen. Allan Chesang of Trans Nzoia County, yesterday inaugurated the new board of Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) and expressed their commitment to fast track its development for the benefit of Kenya’s budding digital economy.
Speaking at the inauguration, CS Owalo apprised the new board members of the project and gave an elaborate outline of how it fits into the government’s digital economy agenda.
“You are coming at a time when ICT is viewed as an integral facet of our economic agenda. As espoused in our Digital Master Plan, through which we are rolling out 100,000 km of fiber optic cable, 25,000 hotspots and 1,450 digital village hubs while reaching out to global digital companies which we shall work with on digital economy,” he said.
“As a government, we are relying on Konza Technopolis to help us position Kenya effectively as the ICT hub of Africa. You have got heavy responsibilities on your shoulders as newly appointed members of the board and we expect you to exercise your proper oversight as required,” added the CS.
CS Owalo noted that the government has developed and signed contracts with other parastatals and government entities and that he expects the new Board to work with them to ensure that the targets of KoTDA and the Ministry are achieved.
The CS urged the stakeholders in the Ministry to work together towards delivering the digital economy agenda.
The Principal Secretary (PS) State Department of ICT and the Digital Economy Eng. John Tanui appreciated the outgoing board and ushered in the new board, urging them to accelerate the impact of the smart city.
“Today, we welcome a new board led by Prof. Raphael Munavu who is an academic champion and a great leader. We are looking forward to see the city accelerating its impact. We want to see Konza Technopolis attracting new investments,” said Eng. Tanui.
He lauded the Senate ICT Committee’s commitment to supporting the Authority on matters of policy development, especially the enactment of the Konza Bill.
On his part, Senator Chesang lauded the progress of Konza Technopolis and assured stakeholders that they would fast-track the enactment of the Konza Bill and support the new leadership in delivering the project.
“I am so impressed by what PS Eng. Tanui started 8 years ago. This is a very big project and despite the challenges, they have done a lot. We look forward to supporting the new leadership and we are working hand in hand to make sure that we expedite the process of enacting the Bill. We are having continuous engagements to ensure that the Bill is passed for this project to continue growing and increase investor confidence,” said Sen. Chesang.
Prof. Munavu thanked the stakeholders of the project and noted that his leadership will seek to grow the developments of the city in the coming days.
He said, “In our inauguration today, we have been able to know each other and we are going to take over from the past team which did a lot. We have seen for example that Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has taken off and we envision that by the end of the year, this will be actualised. Other projects like the National Data centre, the Jitume Programme, the water reclamation facility are a clear demonstration of KOTDA’s success.”
The Chairman was accompanied by Pacifica Chepkosgei, Philip Nyakwaka Olero, Samuel Kariuki Maina, Bertha Denna and Charles Kilonzo who were appointed by CS Owalo in a Gazette Notice of Vol. CXXV—No. 57 as members of the Board.
During the event, Makueni Senator Dan Maanzo noted that they will support the project in collaboration with Kajiado and Machakos counties to fully realise the benefits of the project to the region.
Other senators present from the Senate ICT Committee included Senators Miraj Abdillahi Abdulrahman, Kisang William Kipkemoi, Nyamu Karen Njeri and Abdalla Shakila Mohamed.
By Hamdi Mohamud