Information minister Samuel Poghisio has appointed board members to manage the Konza Technopolis Development Authority ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony for Kenya’s first technology city scheduled for next Wednesday.
The minister has appointed four directors — Haron Nyakundi (building economist), Reuben Mutiso (architect), Emma Miloyo (architect) and Rosemary Maundu — in the board that will be chaired by investment banker John Ngumi.
The appointment of the board and Mr Ngumi, the CFC director for investment banking who was appointed by President Kibaki on December 7, sets the stage for hiring of CEO and executive team of the Konza Technopolis.
The executive team will be in charge of regulating, monitoring and evaluating the development of the multi-billion-shilling ICT Park that is hinged on a private-public partnership financing mode.
“The President will preside over the ground breaking on January 23, and it is after this ceremony that the foreign firms and locals that have shown interest in the project will commence their activities at the site,” said Information permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo.
The government will provide basic infrastructure like roads and electricity for the Sh850 billion-project, while a master developer will build and sell the premises to investors.
The board of Konza Technopolis will act as a link between the master developer and the government.
The composition of the board signals that the state is keen on the design of the park, based on the high number of architects. Mr Ngumi is expected to guide the search for investors and cash for the tech city.
The investment banker has made a name in corporate Kenya in closing deals and raising project finance for companies and sources at the Information ministry reckon that his experience influenced Mr Kibaki to appoint him chair of the authority.
Ms Miloyo is a partner at Design Source, an architectural firm and sits as the deputy president of the Architectural Society of Kenya.
Mr Nyakundi is the Chairman of the Quantity Surveyors Chapter of the Architectural Association of Kenya and a consultant Quantity Surveyor with Harconsult while Dr Mutiso is an architect and planner for Tectura.
The ground breaking was postponed from April last year because of 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 project will be carried out in four phases of five years each. Dr Ndemo said the first phase of the project has so far attracted fourteen IT firms.