Increased Internet connectivity and convergence are expected to drive growth in Kenya’s ICT market in 2017. The latest Frost & Sullivan’s ICT Outlook 2017 indicates that Kenya’s ICT service providers are expected to take advantage of big data analytics and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to increase investments, while telecommunications providers will continue to establish themselves in the broadcasting, cloud and IoT segments.
The report was released at a time when the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA), has unveiled a five-year strategic roadmap for Konza Technopolis. The roadmap provides a strategic framework that will guide the successful development of Konza Smart City, in line with the project’s mission to be an internationally acclaimed technological hub.
Speaking during the launch, Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet secretary information, communications and Technology said that the government is dedicated to ensuring that the key infrastructure required for Konza takeoff has been implemented. “So far we have concluded procuring a contractor who will come with finance for the construction of Streetscape and Sub-surface utilities, Wastewater treatment and Recycling Facility, Bulk water treatment, Booster station and Storage, Fibre optic reticulation, Power/Electrical Distribution and substation as well as Solid waste management”
He further added that the procurement of a design consultant for the Korea Exim Bank funded university known as Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kenya-KAIST) will begin in January.
On his part ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary Eng. Victor Kyalo noted that even though Kenya’s ICT sector has matured and diversified, ICT sector stakeholders should strive towards benchmarking with the competition in other countries and establish a competitive edge that will lure more multi-national companies into Kenya. “As a country, we need to remain competitive, not because we are not competitive, but because other countries are becoming more competitive. The world is not static and continual improvement is essential,” observed the Principal Secretary.
KoTDA plans to lease out the 5,000-acre land to investors for the development of low and higher density buildings to accommodate schools as well as commercial and residential premises at Konza City.
The techno city is projected to contribute approximately two percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), once phase one is operational.
Under phase 1A of the project, 60 acres of land divided into parcels would be leased to investors. The leasing process is expected to be complete by March 2017. This follows positive and successful expression of interest in the project by both local and multi-national companies.
KoTDA chairman Arch. Reuben Mutiso committed to deliver the revolutionary tech city within the stipulated time so that it can contribute to the country’s economy. He encouraged investors to take advantage of the opportunities that the techno project offers. Arch. Mutiso said: “Kenya is already one of the most developed and stable African nations; and is set to become one of the world’s new high growth economies. Konza technopolis embodies an ambitious vision of a modern, inclusive and sustainable Kenya.”
His remarks were echoed by KoTDA CEO Eng. John Tanui who noted that the project is not only about technology rather it also offers investors opportunities in public services as well as real estate. Eng. Tanui noted: “I want to take this opportunity to rally on the business community, local and international investors to take advantage of the opportunity this project presents us. Konza Technopolis offers significant opportunities for investors in provision of public services and also offers Real estate developers an opportunity to offer and develop commercial offices, residential spaces and also retail and hospitality opportunities.”
According to the Global ICT Development Index (IDI), Kenya was ranked position nine in Africa after Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Cape Verde, Botswana, Ghana, Namibia and Gabon.