Last week, the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) held its first Konza Innovation Ecosystem Forum to bring together partners and showcase some of the innovation that can come out through these partnerships. The forum brought together key partners including Safaricom, Huawei, KCB and representatives from Meru and Machakos Universities.
Speaking during the launch of the forum, Eng. John Tanui, Chief Executive Officer, KoTDA said the initiative will focus on three key clusters namely ICT & Information Technology Enabled Services (ICT/ITES), Life Sciences and engineering.
According to Eng. John Tanui the Konza Technopolis is one of the key projects under Vision 2030 and its main aim will be to help the country in its transformation into an innovation, technology and knowledge economy. Konza is a mega project and so much is involved turning that into a reality. This is a Ksh 40 billion project that was first conceptualized in 2008 and a lot has been happening since then.
The land had to be acquired and a feasibility study done and these are some of the reasons why you may have not heard about the project so much. Konza will sit on a 5000-acre land, bigger than Nairobi CBD, Upper Hill and Westlands combined.
“Innovation is an instrumental pillar in Konza Technopolis’ core mandate. Indeed, our focus areas in the innovation ecosystem are guided by direct investment in technology, smart urban planning and building a knowledge-intensive environment for stakeholders and the community,” Eng. Tanui said.
Adding that: “Expanding opportunities so that children can reach their full potential in “tech” adoption is not only a “right” thing to do, but also makes good economic sense hence the STEM Bootcamp. Promoting the cognitive capital of children by finding new solutions to the barriers they face is an important contribution to the long term economic growth of any country.”
To meet the needs of the Government, Academia, Community/Civil society and Industry, KoTDA is developing an initiative for institutions interested in shaping the direction of Konza Technopolis. This will ensure key players are involved in the development of Konza Technopolis.
In support of the Konza Technopolis Innovation agenda, Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for ICT stated: “As one of the agencies assigned to bringing this dream to life, we are impressed with the progress that KoTDA has achieved so far. The attraction of foreign and local partners and rollout of phase one indicates that there is hope that Kenya is on course to becoming the innovation hub on the continent.”