, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – The government is inviting local investors and financiers to fund the construction of the Konza Technology city.
With the first phase projected to cost in excess of $3 billion (Sh280 billion), Ministry of Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo says it will take private sector participation to complete the project.
Speaking to company CEOs and bankers on Monday, Dr Ndemo said the government had allocated Sh1 billion initially for the project but he expects the complete plan to cost trillions of shillings.
“The government doesn’t need to have money, which is why we are talking to bankers and giving them various models of financing, because if we concentrate on how we (government) are going to raise the money, then we will never do the project,” Dr Ndemo told reporters.
The Tech city is a 5,000-acre technology park, which will be located in Machakos County. The project will entail the construction of a high-tech science and technology park, a residential estate, hotels for accommodation and schools.
Ground breaking for the project is set for September.
Dr Ndemo said the government was looking for a single private master developer, who is expected to undertake master planning duties of the entire property under a Master Development Agreement.
He said the master developer would also be expected to finance the city’s development either directly or through sub-developers.
“We are getting multinational real estate firms coming in with interest saying they can do it, finance and even do the construction,” the PS said.
He however said that local investors would be given first priority despite the interest shown by multinational firms.
The Konza Technology City is an idea that was put together by an international team of experts from the UK, China and Brazil whose aim is to ensure global competitiveness.
Phase one of the project will be the construction of a science park as business process outsourcing centre, international finance centre, tourism facilities and a research centre.
In phase two, it is anticipated that the development will create 39,000 jobs nationally, with half of those direct jobs to be found within Konza technology Park.
This market will initially be driven by regional demand and therefore Kenya can exploit the first mover advantage by positioning Konza ICT Park as regional product for the world.
Tanzania has also announced plans to develop a similar ICT park dubbed Raphta City that will undoubtedly make the region a leader in technology development.