South Korea’s government has backed Konza City with a $6 million (Ksh686.86 million) grant for the project.
The funds will support the development of transport infrastructure, planning and security installations at Konza City. They will be disbursed in three annual tranches of $2 million (Ksh228.62 million) each.
Particular projects expenditure will focus on include construction of smart parking facilities, digital signage and electric vehicle infrastructure at Konza, the 5,000-acre city 13 years in the making nursing dreams of becoming the region’s innovation and technology hub.
Notably, South Korea and Kenya in April 2021 announced a partnership in which Seoul would contribute Ksh9.4 billion towards the establishment of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and technology (KAIST) to be constructed at the Konza city.
The institution is modeled on South Korea’s own KAIST which offers specialized training in various technical fields.
The new $6 million package known as the Economic Innovation Partnership Program (EIPP) will be implemented by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Konza Technopolis Development Authority.
Speaking after the signing of an MoU for the program, ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng’ stated: “Under this EIPP, consultation based on Korea’s ICT infrastructure and urban development experience is expected to significantly contribute to formulating a smart city development strategy.”
“Furthermore, the consultations will result in formulation of strategies that meet Konza Technopolis’ unique conditions and support its growth into an innovation hub for Kenya and the rest of Africa,” he added.
The MoU includes agreements on policy consultation, joint research and expert meetings over the three-year period.