Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) has initiated talks with financiers who will provide access to affordable and long-term credit to its investors.
Through the program, which will connect Konza investors to financiers and vice versa, KoTDA, the smart city’s development agency, aims to accelerate Phase One’s vertical development following over 80 percent completion of horizontal infrastructure in the same Phase. Vertical infrastructure development will comprise building structures and business operations in the smart city.
So far, 25 investors in the Phase one have their leases registered, while ten investors’ designs have been approved. The financiers-investor program will further support the investors to overcome challenges such as the high cost of construction materials and long-term affordable financing, as captured in a recent Investors Survey conducted by KoTDA.
The government has pledged support for the initiative, indicating that it aligns with the aspiration of growing Kenya’s digital economy goals.
Speaking during the Financier’s Forum event in Nairobi, Eng. John Tanui, the Principal Secretary for ICT and Digital Economy, indicated that the talks were timely, and the government was ready to support both the financiers, investors and the Authority in the cause.
“As Ministry, we are keen to support the investors who have expressed interest to set up in Konza. We are also happy to engage the financiers with any assurances they need about the project. We are doing this to accelerate the country’s digital agenda and the Kenyan government will leverage and support the investment we have at Konza as we look forward to digitalizing government services and enabling a digitally driven economy,” said Eng. Tanui.
While urging financiers to support the investors, Eng. Tanui added that in view of the government’s digital economy goals, the government is committed to ensuring that Innovation Ecosystem Initiatives and development of the Phase One of the Konza Project is delivered as designed.
On his end, Mr John Okwiri, acting CEO of KoTDA, noted that the Authority has plenty of opportunities which can be leveraged through the financiers-investors relations. He welcomed the financiers to the upcoming smart city and noted that they are ready to link them with onboarded investors.
“Considering the investment opportunities available at Konza Technopolis, we are creating a win-win situation for both financiers and investors at Konza Technopolis. Having investors taking off at our city will unlock more digital economy opportunities while earning the investors and financiers’ incentives and a good RoI,” he noted.
Commenting on the timelines of the access to affordable financing talks, Mr Okwiri noted that KoTDA will have regular financiers and investors engagement sessions which also focus on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in specific projects in the city. On 30th January, the Authority will be hosting the first investors conference in 2023.
KoTDA Chairman Arch. Reuben Mutiso and the Director of Public-Private-Partnerships, Christopher Kirigua were also in attendance. They both rallied the financiers to support investors on Konza Technopolis vertical development. So far, the 400 acres of Phase One of the project had attracted more than 80 percent uptake by investors, while key amenities in the city are at final development stages.
Recently, China Aerospace Construction Group Company (CACGC) announced that by October this year, they will complete the implementation of the 400 kV Konza substation and connecting overhead transmission lines in Konza Technopolis, a move that will enable both local and international investors to operate in the smear city.
Konza Technopolis offers an array of opportunities for investors. Other than opportunities for ICT & IT Enabled services, the city has opportunities around Smart Manufacturing, Light Industry Logistics, Smart Agriculture, Property development, Product development and innovation, Education & training institutions, Hotels & Convention Centres, Entertainment, recreation and sports facilities, Business enterprises among others.
Upon its completion in 2030, Konza Technopolis is expected to position Kenya as a knowledge-based economy and a preferred Science, Technology & Innovation (ST&I) destination. The city is expected to generate 17,000 direct jobs at the end of Phase One and have 200,000 residents at the end of 2030.