By Ronald Musoke
Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan President launched on Jan.23 a US $14.5bn (over Ushs 370 trillion) project to build a new city intended to be an IT business hub within the East African region.
The new city, officially called Konza Technology City has the moniker ‘Africa’s Silicon Savannah.’
The technology hub is about 60km (37 miles) South-East of Nairobi and will take about 20 years to build.
Besides IT businesses, the city will have a university campus focused on research, hotels, residential areas, schools and hospitals among many other facilities.
According to the Kenyan government when construction is complete and business starts to boom, more than 200,000 jobs are envisaged by 2030.
The government says it wants to take advantage of the growing number of software developers in Kenya.
“It is expected to spur massive trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young Kenyans in the ICT (information communications technology) sector,” President Kibaki said at the ceremony to launch the construction, adding it would be a “game-changer” for the country’s development.
Konza is part of the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 initiative to improve the much-neglected infrastructure over the next 18 years and has attracted support from all political players in the country.