Atta Financial - Kenya's growing IT boom

Africa's Silicon Savannah

A brief "heads up"

  • The Kenyan government is developing Konza city as a 5,000-acre public-private partnership and Information and Communication Technology hub, raising hopes that the project might provide job opportunities for youth in the country.
  • The idea is a city where people can come and learn and work; where technology is used efficiently to address all issue areas.
  • Konza is a flagship initiative of Kenya's Vision 2030, a national development blueprint.

So, what's it all about?

This week financial circles in London have been focusing on the growing IT revolution in Kenya. One subject, although well known to many Kenyan's, but not so many outside is the Konza project.

The background

Kenya, with an estimated 6.15% GDP growth by 2020 (5th highest in the world) has started a £9.1bn project to build a new city, an IT business hub and dubbed "Africa's Silicon Savannah".

Where is it?

It will take 20 years to build Konza Technology City about 60km (37 miles) to the South East of Nairobi on the Mombasa road. It is hoped that more than 20,000 IT jobs will be created in Konza over the next four years and more than 200,000 jobs by 2030.

The Konza project was part of Vision 2030 announced some years ago an initiative to improve a much-neglected infrastructure over the next 18 years. Correspondents say the government also wants to take advantage of the growing number of software developers in Kenya

According to the Konza information website, the city wants to attract business process outsourcing, software development, data centres, disaster recovery centres, call centres and light assembly manufacturing industries. A university campus focused on research and technology as well as hotels, residential areas, schools and hospitals will also be built.