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Konza Techno City will operate under the Special Economic Zone Policy and the Special Economic Zone Act that the Government has developed in order to deliver a targeted 200,000 jobs. Both the Act and the Policy present a package of incentives for local and foreign investors.
Konza Technology City will be a game-changer in Kenya’s socio-economic development. It is expected to spur massive trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young Kenyans in the ICT sector.
Through this Technology City, our country will become a global leader in the field of ICT. In addition, the City is set to house Kenya’s International Financial Center, a World Class Convention Center and Light electronic manufacturing.
Given that Konza is close to world-renowned game reserves, it will also house hotels as well as world-class educational and health facilities.
Indeed, the enormous developments set to emerge in and around Konza Technology City will redefine the area’s human settlement pattern and transform the economic activities of the city’s surroundings.
Moreover, the new city will create numerous opportunities for investors interested in providing social services to the city’s residents. The demand for non-technology services will, no doubt, create additional opportunities for employment.
The Government will facilitate the construction of both onsite and offsite infrastructure. This will include roads, water and sewerage systems, energy and high-speed rail in order to make the city more attractive, productive and habitable.
We have already put in place the required Information Communication and Technology infrastructure that includes both submarine and terrestrial fibre optic cables. This infrastructure has gone a long way in making Kenya the ICT hub of Eastern Africa.
In order to provide clean drinking water for Konza Techno City and its immediate neighbourhood, the Government has sourced funds to build the multipurpose Thwake Dam. The Dam will also provide water for irrigation besides generating hydro-power to boost the power supply on the national grid. To ease transportation to and from Konza Technology City, the Government plans to construct a two-lane carriageway from Athi River to Konza. The construction will be undertaken in two parts, focusing on Athi River to Machakos turn-off then from Machakos turn-off to Konza.
The road projects are scheduled to start in January 2014 and be completed by 2016. The Athi River-Machakos Turn-off will be partly funded by the World Bank under the Kenya Transport Sector Support Project and the Northern Corridor Improvement Project.
In addition, the Kenya Railway Corporation is in the process of developing high speed capacity standard gauge from Mombasa to Malaba-Kisumu, which incorporates the Nairobi-Konza segment. Feasibility studies and preliminary designs for this project are complete and construction is scheduled to start soon.
I am pleased that the Ministry of Information and Communication has set up the Konza Technopolis Development Authority to manage the development of Konza City. I am also encouraged that a detailed vision and an implementation plan have already been prepared to guide the development of the City. In conclusion, I would like to call upon both domestic and foreign investors to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that Konza Technology City offers.
We urge them to partner with the Government in order to fulfill our dream of creating a world-class Technology City, which will bring significant development to our nation and improve the livelihoods of our people.
I also wish to remind Kenyans that peace and stability are the cornerstone of our nation’s development endeavours. Let us bear this in mind as we go into the general elections. Let us keep the peace and vote wisely.
We must send a clear message to the world that our democracy has come of age and that we are tolerant of different shades of opinion. A peaceful and just election and smooth transition will consolidate the many gains we have made as a nation. Let us all play our rightful role before, during and after the elections.
Mwai Kibaki is President of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of its Armed Forces. He delivered this speech at Konza on Wednesday where he laid the foundation stone for Konza Technolgy City.