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Delays at Konza City driving away investors

We have lost one or two investors to Ethiopia and we have had another one who has been very keen on going to Kigali," Adeya regretted.

We have lost one or two investors to Ethiopia and we have had another one who has been very keen on going to Kigali,” Adeya regretted.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – Kenya is likely to lose major investors who are interested in setting up businesses at the Konza City, if delays in developing basic infrastructure continue.

Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) CEO Catherine Adeya says apart from financial constraints, the major challenge has been getting approvals from various government agencies to carry out activities at the Konza City land.

She says there was need to address bureaucracy in holistic manner by all government ministries to ensure the Vision 2030 project is developed within the set timelines.

“I will be frank with you, we have lost one or two investors to Ethiopia and we have had another one who has been very keen on going to Kigali,” Adeya regretted.

Adeya says it was time all government ministries and Kenyans at large embraced the project to avoid losing investors to other countries which are also developing smart techno cities.

“We have had others talk about Hope City in Ghana but again they came back to Kenya because Konza City is at a strategic place. Some are willing to wait, but again they can only wait for so long,” she said. “Yes I do try and keep them happy, but also it cannot go on for too long because whatever Kenya is doing other people are trying to replicate.”

Adeya was speaking to a group of journalists during a tour at the Konza City land in Makueni on Thursday.

However the authority has already completed the Cadastral Survey of the land beckoning hope of the actual development of phase I to kick off.

The survey which was carried out by the University of Nairobi Enterprise Services (UNES) will provide a basis on which to start working on planning, design, construction and operation.

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The survey team leader Sammy Musyoka says they have managed to put over 900 permanent beacons fitted with Global Navigation Satellite System, used to locate the exact geographic location using a receiver anywhere in the world.

“We want the investors to be able to locate their parcels of their land that they want to come and put up their buildings. Earlier on, they could only see the whole 5,000 acres piece of land. But with this technology, they can see the demarcations wherever they are,” Musyoka said.

The survey has been done at a cost of Sh28 million.

In the meantime KoTDA is engaged in putting in place preliminary infrastructure works such as boreholes and power supply.

“There are seven viable boreholes although we dug 11 of them, but the water they have is actually sufficient for phase one in the next five years. After that we will rely on Thwake Dam which is being funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Water Ministry Water. They promised us by 2016, there will be enough water running into Konza,” Adeya said.

She has now called on the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) to kick off the road construction as soon as possible adding that this will determine development of other infrastructure.

“We have to know where the road will pass before putting and electric cable or fibre cable. We want them to work hand in hand to ensure that we don’t see digging up of roads to lay cables,” she said.

Kenya Power has however kicked off the design work.

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