President Kibaki has picked career investment banker John Ngumi to lead the development of the Sh850 billion Konza technology city.
Mr Ngumi, currently director of investment banking at CFC Stanbic Bank, was appointed chairman of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority, the State-owned body that will regulate, monitor and evaluate the development of the multi-billion-shilling ICT park.
The appointment sets the stage for the recruitment of the authority’s board members and its executive officer.
Mr Ngumi will guide the search for investors and cash for the tech city that will be developed through a private-public partnership financing model. The government will provide basic infrastructure like roads and electricity while a master developer will build and sell the premises to tech firms.
Sources in the Information ministry said that Mr Ngumi’s experience in closing deals and raising project finance for companies influenced Mr Kibaki to appoint him chair of the authority.
“I appoint John Ngumi to be chairman of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority for a period of three years,” said Mr Kibaki in a Kenya Gazette notice.
The appointment gives impetus to the tech city whose ground-breaking has remained on ice due to lack of a technical team and legal framework to drive Kenya’s flagship IT project.
Mr Ngumi has made a name in the corporate finance market, but was a founder director of the industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) when it was set up in 1999.
“Over the last 20 years, he has been involved in numerous debt and equity financings in the region and was instrumental in the development of the Corporate Bond and Syndicated loan markets and the Kenya Government Treasury Bond programme,” says his brief in the CFC Stanbic website.
The authority was set up in March this year through a presidential Executive Order to shepherd Kenya’s plan to establish a technology city.