Kenya’s ambitious technopolis, Konza City has completed laying 500km of underground ICT cables as the plan to open up the tech hub for private companies gathers steam. The cable infrastructure will provide investors with ready-to-plug backbone ICT network.

Kenya is banking on the technopolis to attract private investors in hi-tech industries as the country seeks to maintain its edge as a regional innovation hub. The centre is also expected to fuel the country’s dream for a knowledge-based economy, and create 15, 000 jobs for tech-savvy youth.

The hub will be home to technology centres, incubation hubs, private business complexes and office spaces, research institutions, mixed use developments and education institutions.

 “We are expecting Kenya to cement its lead in IT leadership and this is a flagship project that will be integral for job creation for the youth,” said Kenneth Mwige, Vision 2030 chief executive.

Konza, Mr Mwige noted, will host both government and private sector data locally.  This is after completion of phase 2  – Tier III National Data Centre, with smart city facilities and services to support operations of the tech hub, e-government as well as small and medium enterprises.

Currently, many companies operating in Kenya are compelled to host their data with foreign servers due to lack of capacity locally. However, with Konza’s state-of-the-art facility, firms can now have their data stored safely locally.

Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) CEO John Tanui said the technopolis initially used a containerised data centre that was built in the first phase, and which will now be converted into a data recovery site following completion of the National Data Centre.

The technology city plans to complete horizontal infrastructure by February 2022 including the design and construction of roads, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, parks and subservices. Other projects expected to be done by next year are automatic waste collection system, some public buildings such as the police and fire stations, an entrance and security feature, and a transit hub covering 600 acres.

The government has also constructed a Sh1.9 billion office building as part of the Sh3 billion facility expected to host investors at the techno city. Some 40km of power lines, one main electrical station plus 50 sub stations, have also been installed at the hub.

In the eight-story building constructed in the first phase of the techno city, one floor will be reserved for incubation hubs while another will host KoTDA offices. A restaurant will be set up on the building’s rooftop and a conference centre in its basement.