Kenya constructing own Technology City.

Even as construction work begins on Konza Techno City, a number of Kenyans and interested businesses are still in the dark on what to expect in the next 12 months. HumanIPO spoke exclusively to Todd Sigaty, the project’s master-planner, to find out.

With the groundbreaking of Konza technopolis having been officiated by president Kibaki yesterday (January 23), the ground is now set to host construction works for the next two decades.

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To make the construction systematic, the master planner HR&A consultants from New York have broken the process into four phases.

In the initial stages, the government will focus on completing key infrastructure and providing utilities such as water and sewerage systems for construction works to run seamlessly. In the first phase, Sigaty says construction will start with the side pavilion, which will host conferences with investors, among other events.

The pavilion, according to Sigaty, will have state-of-the-art architecture with the only facade roofing in the continent, which will resemble an acacia tree.
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The master planner adds that the city will start coming into place with the construction of 120 separate plants extending over 200 acres and having a total office space of 1.5 million square feet.

Sigaty defends the idea of changing the concept of the city from an ICT park to a technology city, saying this strengthens the city by providing space for more sectors, providing sustainibility even in the event of a collapse in one sector.

He said many failures of smart cities could be attributed to rigid thinking and focusing on just one idea, saying that blending of ideas is the way to go as it provides more employment.

“Konza is designed to bring together universities, tech companies, banks and many other lines of business. So that soon will start seeing ideas coming out of universities, the ideas will create new jobs. The new companies will partner with technology firms and they will be funded by banks and so on,” he said.

Already, 14 companies have confirmed that they will set up shop in the first phase, with another 230 showing interest, many of whom indicated they would also commit to the project after Kenya’s March 4 general elections.
-Humanapo

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