Investors have taken up over 80 percent of the land on offer for the first phase of the Konza Technopolis, reigniting interest in the technology city that had a false start.
ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng’ said that 26 new investors have been on boarded in the current fiscal year that ends this month and ten of them have already been given land lease agreements.
Konza Technopolis is a key flagship project of Kenya’s Vision 2030 economic development and is set to become the country’s technology and innovation hub and spur the digital-driven economy.
The city is key to Kenya’s effort to ease the high unemployment rate and is set to create an estimated 80,000 new jobs in the first four years upon its completion.
“So far, 80 percent of the parcels have been taken and having invested in such facilities, investors need to be given an update on what is happening. Today, we had 90 percent of these investors here to share what their visions are and how we can work together to move ahead,” Mr Ochieng’ -said on Tuesday.
Development of the project is being undertaken in four stages with the first phase being the construction of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology followed by the Konza National Data Centre and Smart City.
Phase one involves the construction of infrastructure like roads, drainage, and bridges and the last phase is the Konza Complex.
Phase one sits on 410 acres of land, and is distributed into mixed-use (89 acres), university (39 acres), residential (26 acres) and life science (26 acres).
Others include office space (11 acres), retail (eight acres), cultural community (one acre), parks (79 acres) and transportation and public space (130 acres).
The first phase of the techno city is designed as a mixed-use community, comprising commercial, residential, public and hospitality. The government is banking on funding from the Exchequer and grants to complete phase one by 2024 and open it up to investors.
The National Treasury allocated Sh5.2 billion in the financial year starting July to build roads, drainage and other infrastructure. A further Sh3.8 billion was allocated for the data centre and smart city facilities.
South Korea gave Kenya a $6 million (Sh685.86 million) grant in March to fund the construction of transport infrastructure, planning and security installations at the city.