Birth of Kenya's Konza Techno City is in October.

Proposed Konza Technocity: Attracting serious investors

THE GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY  for Kenya’s Konza Techno City will be held in October this year, we can report.  This will pave the way for construction work on the US$7 billion project to begin.

It is expected that, after the ground breaking ceremony, work on roads, water and waste water disposal systems will be the first off the blocks. Already a Chinese government owned Construction Company, Shanghai Corporation for Foreign Economic & Technological Cooperation (SFECO) is eyeing construction of roads and other social infrastructure.

  The government is constructing a US$200 million multipurpose water dam expected to be complete by October 2013. The dam will pump one million litres of water to the city.

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

Such fast pace at which the building blocks of the city’s development is being put in place has critics confounded.  In just about one month, 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 the project among investors.

The BPO park
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. Return on leasing ranges between 12 and 15 per cent while capital gains rate is estimated at 20 per cent.

Konza City located only 60 KM south west of Nairobi aims to catapult Kenya into an ICT giant by 2030. It will place Kenya firmly on the competition seat with such global BPO, KPO and ITO giants as India and China. Dubbed the  silicon Savannah of Africa, Konza ICT City is a green field project that will be home of Africa's Computerisation drive–something similar to Silicon Valley in the US.

 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, At the end of it all, infrastructure will swallow an estimated $2.1 billion while other developed will cost some $4.8 billion.

The Techno city will be linked to Nairobi by Mombasa Road and served by three high speed fibre optic networks. A high speed Railway link to Jomo Kenya international Airport, is also in the works.
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