The Konza Technopolis has started bringing in revenue for the government through the national data centre which is the biggest in East Africa.
The Data centre which is currently in use by the government and over 10 private companies is one of the flagship projects to be completed on the Konza Technopolis.
ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary Mr. Jerome Ochieng said that as a government, they recognise that for Konza to achieve its objective it is important that they form strategic partnerships in efforts to share ideas and make progress together.
Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday during the Konza investors’ breakfast meeting, Ochieng said that the development of the horizontal infrastructure within the Konza Technopolis is progressing well and has paved way for uptake of space by investors who have already taken up 80 percent of the first phase.
“People look at Konza like a normal one-time project like building a school, hospital or market but I tell them that this is not that kind of a project. We have visited various cities that have been developed on this particular framework and we have some which have been under construction for over 20 years and still ongoing and people need to understand that this is not time bound,” said Ochieng.
He highlighted that the kind of city they are building is what in technology is called ‘plug and play’ where when a building springs up it is connected to the electricity, water, sewerage, internet and other things which are readily available and those are the kind of infrastructure that the government has been constructing at Konza.
“This is why the project has taken long and it is not a stalled project, we are on the right trajectory as we share our experiences with the best in the world and we intend to achieve the best here at Konza,” said the PS.
Ochieng said that the project also entails the establishment of smart vaccine production, making Kenya one of the centres for vaccine production in Africa. “This will address the vaccine challenges which were evident with the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Ochieng.
Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) chairman Reuben Mutiso said that with the national data centre starting to bring in money, investors can now see the value for money that the project offers.
“Konza is providing value proposition for investors by being part of a smart city built from scratch with smart infrastructure. We have state of the art roads and one does not need to cut the roads to put pipes since the allocation is already made,” said Mutiso.
KoTDA CEO John Tanui said that the Konza Technopolis is expected to create 17, 000 jobs by the end of phase one and have 200,000 residents by 2030.
Tanui said that they have been able to attract investors into the project ranging from education institutions where the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is under construction and it is modelled after the Korean Advanced Institute of Science Technology (KAIST).
“We have many investors who have taken up space ranging from light manufacturing and industry, hotel and convention centres, technical and vocational institutions, shopping malls and retail centres, student housing, furnished apartments, transport and logistics, energy, research and development, ICT companies and incubation centres among others,” said Tanui.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a