The procurement regulator has approved a billion tender awarded by the Konza City Development Authority to build a conference facility paving the way for the project to start.
The authority awarded Kenyan developer, Parklane Construction Limited the contract on June 26 this year after bidding Sh1.43 billion for the job.
The tender, which saw a total of 18 bidders participate, was however contested by another developer, Millicon Limited which claimed it was locked out unfairly by the authority and sought redress from the regulator. Milcon had bid Sh1.39 billion for the job.
The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) comprising chairperson Faith Waigwa, and members Nicholas Mruttu, and Ambrose Ogetto however, ruled on July 30 that the Konza City Development Authority did not breach any procurement laws when awarding the contract to Parklane.
“The request for review filed on 10 July 2020 by the applicant (Millicon Limited) herein with respect to tender for the proposed development of Konza Complex facility at Konza Techocity Kenya is hereby struck out,” said PPARB.
The moves comes as a big boost for the President Uhuru Kenyatta pet project part of the Big Four pillars that his government has identified as critical in achieving the country’s development goals.
The government has allocated Sh10 billion towards the project, but procurement and other administrative bureaucracies have delayed programmes.
Dubbed the Silicon Savannah, Konza’s dream is to become a top business process outsourcing hub by 2030, with on-site universities training locals to feed into a 200,000-strong tech-savvy workforce providing IT support and call centre services remotely.
Other smart cities planned across Africa include Nigeria’s Eko Atlantic City near Lagos that will house 250,000 people on land reclaimed from the sea, Ghana’s Hope City and an Ethiopian city styled as the real Wakanda after the film “Black Panther”.
Konza aims to become a smart city, using technology to manage water and electricity efficiently and reduce commuting time. It also aims bringing a solution to the rapid, unplanned urbanisation which has plagued existing cities.