Konza Technology City is a flagship of the Kenya Vision 2030 project. Its creation was approved by the government in 2008. Vision 2030 aims to make Kenya a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030.
As part of this vision, Konza will be a sustainable, world class technology hub and major economic driver for Kenya. According to the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA) the city was initially conceived to capture the growing global Business Processing Outsourcing and Information Technology Enabled Services (BPO/ITES) sectors in Kenya.
BPO/ITES business produced US$110 billion in revenues in 2010. Revenues from this industry were expected to increase three-fold to US$300 billion by 2015.
Africa attracts about 1% of the total revenues accruing from this growing industry. Only a few African countries, including South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana and Mauritius, have made any effort to develop their BPO/ITES industries.
“Given the robust tech industry already in Nairobi, Kenya has a unique opportunity to capture a sizable amount of the growing global BPO/ITES industry,” says KOTDA. Its initial phase should produce 20,000 jobs, a sizeable contribution to efforts to create jobs for the 80,000 Kenyan youths released to the job market every year.
In 2009, the Government of Kenya hired the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, to advise on the development and implementation of a world-class technology city, which would grow the BPO/ITES and other technology industries in Kenya.
But that is the far that the “creation” of the city has gone. Kenyans have been wondering why the government of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto would adopt a snail speed in the construction of the city even as its advantages are very clear. But now, Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper Movement says the government is slow because the city lies in Ukambani.
The Jubilee government is “reluctant to undertake the construction of the city because it is in Ukambani,” the Wiper leader to a rally at Sultan Hamud.
If it had been built it would have created jobs for the youth and brought in many investors, Kalonzo said.