Fourteen local and multinational corporations, including RIM, Huawei and Samsung, have committed to setting up shop in Kenya’s Konza Techno City.
Construction at Konza has officially begun after a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, officiated by President Mwai Kibaki.
According to Dr Bitange Ndemo, the permanent secretary at the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communication, there has been a diversion from the original plan that intended the city to focus solely on ICT.
“Konza is expected to bring together researchers, industry and government to foster economic expansion,” says Ndemo.
Other companies that have showed interest in working at Konza include integrated communications provider Safaricom, Kenyan software company Craft Silicon and local Internet service provider Wananchi.
The city has also invited a number of universities, including the Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenyatta University and the University of Nairobi, which the master planner HR&A says will use 50 acres in the first phase.
International companies expected to break ground in the first quarter include TeraMark of the United States, Danush of India and Toyota, which will set up a training institute inside the city.
A number of research institutes are expected to open shop in the city, including government agencies the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).
Boeing and Federal Express are also said to be eyeing the city.
Overall, some 250 companies, whom the ministry says are waiting for the general election set for March 4 to take place before they break ground, have shown interest in setting up shop at Konza.
“Kenya is going to remain stable perhaps more stable going forward and investors should not try and shy away in this great moment,” said Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.