The Kenyan government is seeking private sector participation in the construction of a multi-billion dolla r ICT City Park known as Konza Technology City.
The first phase of the project is expected to cost about US$3 billion.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication, Dr Bitange Ndemo said upon its completion the project is expected to be Africa’s home of computerisation – the equivalent to California’s Silicon Valley, complete with a skyscraper business centre, hotels, international schools and hospitals.
“The government doesn’t need to have the money right away which is why we are talking to bankers and giving them various models of financing because if we concentrate on how we are going to raise the money, then we will never do the project,” said Ndemo.
Konza Technology city will be a 5 000-acre technology park, which will be located in Machakos County, in Eastern Kenya.
Ndemo said that the government was looking for a single private master developer who is expected to undertake master planning duties of the entire property under a master development agreement.
Ndemo said the master developer would also be expected to finance the city’s development either directly or through sub-developers.
“We are getting multinational real estate firms coming in with interest saying they can finance and even do the construction,” said Ndemo, adding that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki is expected at the groundbreaking ceremony for the project in September 2011.
The Konza Technology City is an idea that was put together by an international team of experts from the UK, China and Brazil whose aim is to ensure global competitiveness.
Phase one of the project will be the construction of a science park, business process outsourcing centre, international finance centre, tourism facilities and a research centre.
In phase two, it is anticipated that the development will create 39 000 jobs nationally, with half of those direct jobs to be found within Konza technology Park.
The Tanzanian government has also announced plans to develop a similar ICT park known as Raphta City.