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Kenya-Korea partner to develop konza techno-city

The Korea Trade-Investment and Promotion Agency (KOTRA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the Economic Innovation Partnership Programme (EIPP) with Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA).

The three-year partnership aims at facilitating the consultation and co-operation between Kenya and South Korea by establishing a master plan for the development of Konza Technopolis Smart City.

The signing was presided over by the Principal Secretary, State Department for ICT and Innovation, Mr. Jerome Ochieng, for KoTDA and witnessed by the Korean Ambassador to Kenya, Koh Jae-Myong in a meeting held at Sarit Centre in Westlands, Nairobi.

The signing comes a year after the EIPP proposal titled “Establishing strategies for developing a smart city infrastructure at Konza Technopolis,” submitted in March 2021, was approved by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) of the Republic of Korea and allocated to KOTRA as the implementing agent.

PS Ochieng said the programme will see the establishment of a smart city vision, concept, and step-by-step comprehensive development plan,that reflects the characteristics of the Konza Technopolis’ Smart City Master Plan.

“EIPP will also guide the development of preliminary feasibility studies of major projects in Konza Technopolis, which include an Integrated Control Centre, Smart mobility and Energy,” said Ochieng.

He at the same time announced that the programme will be focusing on security operations that will be located in the modern police command centre, in accordance with Konza Technopolis’ Smart City Master Plan.

Other works that will be undertaken include the formation of a transportation network and plans for smart mobility based on an Integrated Public Service Transaction System that meets urban functions and characteristics, Smart Parking, Digital signage and Electric Vehicle Service.

Ochieng said the Ministry of ICT looks forward to accelerating the impact of Konza Technopolis, Second Strategic Plan 2021- 2025 that is currently under implementation.

The PS who thanked the Korea government for its continued support, said Kenya has benefited a lot from the partnership which saw the completion of the Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) on the Konza Technopolis Digital Media City completed in 2018/2019 and the media content development strategy for Kenya alongside with Konza Technopolis Digital Media City in 2020/2021.

Other projects include the establishment of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at Konza Technopolis, which is modelled after the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and is expected to be a graduate school focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“The Institute will exemplify the Centre of Excellence in science and engineering as envisioned in the second and third medium term plans of the Kenya Vision 2030,” said Ochieng.

He added that the ground works on the construction of KAIST-Kenya have already commenced, and is expected to be complete by 2024.

In his remarks Koh Jae-Myong the Korean Ambassador to Kenya, said that Konza Technopolis is an example of partnerships that exist between Korea and Kenya and noted that his government will continue to support its partners in their economic projects.

Speaking at the event, the Kenyan Ambassador to Korea, Mwende Mwinzi, said Kenya appreciates the tremendous support on the KOTRA project under the Ministry of ICT whose completion will spur economic prosperity of the nation.

“We as a nation appreciate the leadership that the Republic of Korea has shown in leading the global economic revolution and the consistent effort to provide support and share best practices with partner states,” said Mwinzi.

By Bernadette Khaduli and Angeline Mumbi

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