Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Construction of KonzaTechno city begins

 Konza Technocity's Financial District: Designed
 to be a Financial hub
ALL LEGAL AND LOGISTICAL hurdles that frustrated the launch of Konza Techno City last year have been resolved. The ground breaking ceremony, which was postponed several times, last year, will be held next, week, January23rd. All missing links are now in place: The statutory authority to oversee the city’s development, the Konza metropolitan Development Authority and a management board are now in place.

After the ground breaking, the US$7 billion Konza Techno City will start rolling. First off the blocks will be work on the infrastructure, roads and water and waste water disposal systems. Already a Chinese government owned Construction Company, Shanghai Corporation for Foreign Economic & Technological Cooperation (SFECO) is eyeing construction of roads and other social infrastructure.

 A US$200 million multipurpose water dam funded by the Kenya government is under construction and is expected to be complete by October 2013. The dam will pump one million litres of water to the city a day.
Kenya-Uganda Railway borders the
 City upgrade starts in March 

Arguably the first city of its kind in Africa, Konza Techno city will comprise of a Central Business District, and BPO Park, a university, other schools; and a financial district. It will also host shopping malls, hospitals and residential estates.

 It is designed to enable Kenya to compete neck on neck with global giants in BPO, KPO and ITOs including India and China.  On the African continent, Kenya will compete with South Africa and Egypt.  Being the first city of its kind in the East Africa common Market bloc, Konza is likely to be the regional technology hub.

The city has generated a lot of interest among both investors and developers, hastening the pace of implementation. Reports have it that some 200 investors are eyeing space in the metropolis, dubbed Africa’s silicon Savannah.

The fast pace at which the building blocks of the city’s development are being put in place has critics confounded.  Since last August when an investors’ conference on the city was held, several contractors are in place. The Master Planner, HR & A advisors of New York is already in Place.  A Swedish government firm has bagged the tender to develop the science park and market it among investors.

Also on the queue for various segments of the project are other experienced developers such as Egypt’s Smart Villages and the Korea Business Centre. The intense interest in the project is not surprising, returns on investment are mouth-watering. For instance, return on leasing ranges between 12 and 15 per cent while capital gains rate is estimated at 20 per cent.

 The 20-year project will be developed in four five-year phases for a total estimated cost of US$7 billion. The first phase will cost an estimated US$2.3 billion of which infrastructure will cost US$1 billion. The rest will be spent on the development broken under: the ICT Park US$200 million, Residential US$975 million and the Central Business District will cost US$125 million. Each phase will last five years.

The second phase will cost an estimated US$1.7 billion of which infrastructure will cost $400million; the residential area will cost US$850 million while the CBD will cost another $100 million while the BPO will take another $300 million. The university, which shall be built at this stage, will cost some $50 million.

The third phase will cost an estimated $2.1 billion of which infrastructure will consume $600 million. The BPO will cost another $400million, CBD $300 million, Science Park $100Million and Residential $700 million.

In the final phase, BPO will cost $450 million, residential $250 million, Science park $100million while infrastructure will cost $150 million, says an analysis posted on their website, www.konzacity.co.ke. At the end of it all, infrastructure will swallow an estimated $2.1 billion while other developed will cost some $4.8 billion.


The city is ringed by transport and ICT networks making easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Konza Techno city is located 60KM south West of Nairobi, Kenya’s Capital city. It is also 50 Km away from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the aviation hub of east and central Africa.

It will be linked to Nairobi by Mombasa Road. The road also links Konza to the Port city of Mombasa to hinterland. Mombasa is 450 Km away from Konza. It is fronted by an international highway and three high speed fibre optic networks. There are reports that this could rise to four networks soon.

 At the back of the city is a Railways line that links Mombasa to the hinterland. The railway line will be upgraded to a high standard gauge line beginning the second quarter of this year, A high speed Railway link to Jomo Kenya international Airport, is also in the works.



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