Konza tech city conference opens Tuesday
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
A two-day Konza Techno City Investors Conference will start on Tuesday with a major announcement on which firm will manage the USD7 billion project.
The conference will bring together investors from Europe, US, Asia and Africa and comes with the ground breaking ceremony of the USD10 billion (Sh800 billion) project expected within the next three months. Kenya’s Information Permanent Secretary earlier said the firm shall be picked from among six applicants, including Swedish Sweco International, AECOM International Development of Finland, Dohwa Consulting Engineers from Korea and HR & A Advisors and SHoP Architects, both based in New York.
Once named, the firm is expected to come up with a plan in the first six months and thereafter attract and manage the development at the site for four-and-a-half years.The firm will be answerable to the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KTDA), a public oversight body and will sign a contract for five years with the Kenya government.
“We will be holding the conference to outline the progress of the project but most importantly, to inform Kenyans what investment opportunities are there and how they can go about putting their money,” said Information permanent secretary, Dr Bitange Ndemo.
Dr Ndemo said said 60% of the investments opportunities in the first phase of the project, envisaged as Kenya’s answer to Silicon Valley have been booked by foreign firms.The ground breaking for the project was supposed to take place last April and the Information Ministry says the delay was caused by the need to re-plan the areas where the park is sitting.
A legal notice creating the Konza Authority also took longer than necessary. The techno polis will be built 60km from Nairobi and is expected to create about 200,000 jobs in Business Process Outsourcing and Information Technology Enabled Services (BPO/ITES) and related sectors over a 20 year period.Its development will take place over 20 years at a cost of around USD7 billion.
The project will include an ICT park, educational facilities, shopping, recreation and residential areas, and business premises.