Konza smart university allocated Sh5.7 billion

Konza phase 2 Data Centre at Konza Technopolis in Machakos County.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The government has allocated Sh5.74 billion for the construction of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), which is a smart university domiciled within the Konza Technopolis and poised to provide masters and doctorate-level training in mechanical, electrical and ICT engineering.

Treasury documents show that the project will receive government funding for the first time in the financial year 2023/24 after it initially bagged a Sh9.6 billion credit facility from South Korea in 2021.

In the budget estimates published by Treasury and which place the programme under the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), Sh5.7 billion will be in the form of appropriations in aid while Sh40 million will be drawn from the exchequer.

The university is set to train and produce graduates of science, technology and innovation as part of the government’s interventions to drive digital transformation through skills enhancement.

Its development is part of the Kenya National Digital Master Plan 2022-2032, which was unveiled last year by then ICT CS Joe Mucheru as a blueprint that proposes the acceleration of Konza's expansion to promote cloud services and data management.

According to the construction plan, the campus will comprise 10 research science labs working as operation spaces for specialised local and international researchers in science, technology and engineering.

The President William Ruto-led administration also sees the facility as heightening the attraction of foreign investors to establish tech industries in the country in a move that would result in the creation of jobs for locals.

Treasury has further allocated Sh4.8 billion for the horizontal infrastructural development of the Konza tech city, which includes putting in place utilities such as roads, water and power supply, ICT networks as well as public facility buildings such as police and fire stations.

Other allocations for the Vision 2030 flagship project include ShSh475 million for the construction of Konza complex phase 1B, Sh1.2 billion for the Konza data centre and Sh60 million for Konza Technopolis masterplan consultancy.

Touted as Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah’, the smart city, whose development was mooted over a decade ago, is meant to be an IT business hub sitting on a 5,000-acre site, about 70 kilometres from Nairobi city centre.

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