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Economy

Construction at Konza City to start in three months time

Konza City Development Authority chairman John Ngumi. Photo/Salaton Njau
Konza City Development Authority chairman John Ngumi. Photo/Salaton Njau 

Construction at Konza City, Kenya’s pioneer technopolis, is expected to start in the next three months.

The chairman of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (Kotda) John Ngumi said companies are waiting for an ongoing survey to be completed to start construction of infrastructure.

“The survey is supposed to take 20 weeks, but we hope it will be shorter to enable the teams working on the water systems, power and fibre optic cables to move in,” Mr Ngumi said.

University of Nairobi Enterprise Services (Unes) was awarded a Sh30 million contract to map out infrastructure lines and lease plots using GPS technology, setting the stage for implementation of the first phase.

The government had allocated Sh773 million for the project in the 2013/2014 budget. Of this, Sh520 million had been earmarked for the construction of the sales pavilion.

Mr Ngumi said despite delays in approval from National Environmental Management Authority (Nema), the construction of the sales pavilion will start on time.

“Despite the delays the level of interest by investors remains extremely high. Some local and international investors are ready to come to Konza,” he said.

ICT secretary Fred Matiang’i expressed optimism that the KOTDA Bill will be enacted in the next three months, allowing the authority to seek external funds for the project.

The legislation is expected to institutionalise the authority as a legal entity with the power to enter into contractual obligations which include seeking funds from the private sector for the initial phase of the project.

“I don’t think it will take a lot of time in the Cabinet because we have been consulting a lot about the Bill and the inter-ministerial framework has been working to see how best it is to implement it without much bureaucracy. Subject to parliamentary clearance, we hope to enact it in three months,” Mr Matiang’i said.

Konza is one of the Vision 2030 flagship projects meant to position Kenya as East Africa’s ICT hub.

James Mwangi, the chair of Vision 2030 Delivery Board, noted the time it has taken for actual work at the project to start is in line with the gestation period of building similar technology cities globally.

Mr Mwangi said Konza is not as complex as other Vision 2030 projects since it is a private-public partnership.

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