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Kenya says construction of proposed technology city on course

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The construction of Kenya’s envisaged technology city on the 5,000 acres of land about 56 km southeast of the capital Nairobi is on course to help beat the 2030 deadline, officials said on Wednesday.

John Tanui, CEO of Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) that is developing the smart city, said contractors are already on the ground to set up supportive infrastructure like office blocks, paved roads, power lines and water supply system.

“The implementation of phase one of Konza technology city that involves setting up physical infrastructure and amenities like clean water, sewerage and recreation facilities is underway and will be finalized soon,” said Tanui.

He spoke to reporters at the sidelines of the inaugural innovation summit organized by KoTDA and industry partners at the proposed site of the technology city to help showcase investment opportunities in the digital economy.

Tanui said China Jiangxi International is putting final touches on the main Konza office block that will also provide working space for innovators as well as conference services.

“We have a consortium of investors who are ready to set up research laboratories, data centers, residential flats, malls and recreation facilities at the proposed site of Konza technology city,” said Tanui.

“It is going to have all the components of a smart city and the quality of infrastructure will be above board,” he added.

Kenya’s proposed technology city that is part of the Vision 2030 project is expected to be a hub for research and innovations focusing on ICT entrepreneurship, energy, life sciences and agriculture.

David Mugambi, business development manager at KoTDA said the proposed technology city will help incubate innovative ideas and make them commercially viable.

“Our local innovators have brilliant ideas that often fail to reach incubation and commercial stages due to lack of supportive infrastructure. Konza technology city is the answer to financing, capacity and infrastructural bottlenecks hampering growth of start-ups in this country,” said Mugambi.

He said that Kenya’s pioneer smart city will reduce its carbon footprint by harnessing clean energy sources like solar and wind to support key operations like data trafficking and storage.



Kenya hosts inaugural innovation summit to showcase ICT investments

MACHAKOS (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Wednesday convened the inaugural innovation summit in Konza Technology City to showcase investment opportunities in the digital economy that is expected to be a key enabler for the attainment of the government’s socio-economic transformation blueprint.

Senior officials attended the high-level innovation conference organized by the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology of Kenya, Chinese multinational Huawei Technologies, Kenya’s mobile phone service provider Safaricom and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

Jerome Ochieng, principal secretary of the ICT ministry said Kenya is on course to become a knowledge economy hub thanks to conducive policies that have encouraged growth of technology-based start-ups.

“We have created a vibrant innovation ecosystem that is at the core of our growth narrative,” said Ochieng, adding that a partnership with the private sector will help tackle financing hiccups that undermine growth of local start-ups.

The innovation summit that was held at the site of the proposed Kenya’s premier technology city located 56 km southeast of the capital Nairobi, was attended by policymakers, industry executives, researchers and budding innovators.

Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) that is developing the city on 5,000 acres of land hosted the innovation summit as part of awareness creation on the opportunities in the nascent digital economy.

The innovation forum will be followed by a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) boot camp for young innovators aged 7 to 15 years to boost their understanding of dynamics in the knowledge economy.

John Tanui, CEO of KoTDA, said over 30 youngsters from counties neighboring the proposed site of Kenya’s technology city will participate in the two-day boot camp that will focus on enhancing their knowledge of robotics and programming.

“Our goal is to groom the next generation of innovators to accelerate digital transformation in the country,” said Tanui.

He said that academic institutions will play a key role in efforts to create a robust innovation ecosystem in Kenya.



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