“Konza is set to be one of the most successful cities in Africa, competing economically and culturally with the best cities in the world.” ~Konza
Kenya has been become one of the leading technology players in Africa and is challenging South Africa for its position as the technology hub on the continent. In September a ground breaking ceremony will be held to mark the beginning of the construction of Konza Technology City which is expected to be completed in 2020.
This innovative city will be located 60km from Nairobi and 50km from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Having its own ‘valley’ is not the only way Kenya is being noticed. The construction should be seen as a demonstration of the role that Kenya plays in Africa as a leading technological hub.
The masterplan for the 2,000 hectare city is based on successful new town projects around the world put together by an international team of experts. These draw on best practice from places such as the UK, China and Brazil to ensure global competitiveness.
Current tech facts on Kenya
- 9 out of 10 Kenyans have mobile phones
- 15 million people transfer about US$7 billion a year via mobile phone which is 20% of national gross domestic product. Safaricom’s M-Pesa (M refers to mobile and Pesa is Swahili for money) product has been popular with 80% of its customers using it to transfer money.
- Nairobi is home an Innovation Hub (*iHub_) which is there for the technology community to be able to network and hopefully create the next big thing. The *iHub_ provides a 20MB internet connection which is free to its members.
- The Kenyan Government has a portal, called Kenya Open Data, which provides information for its citizens on what the government is doing i.e. government spend on each county.
- The Kenyan ICT Board offers grants from US$10 000 for individuals and teams and US$50 000 to companies every year. These grants are to help to build local web and mobile applications for Kenyans.
Konza has the potential to truly change the technological landscape of the continent. Bringing together leading thinkers and technology innovators in order to create a truly Africa Silicon Savannah.