The new city dubbed “Africa’s Silicon Savannah,” located 37 miles from the capital; Nairobi will take 20 years to build.
Despite Kenya’s usually divisive politics, the project which has the backing of all political parties is expected to create more than 20,000 IT jobs by 2015, and more than 200,000 jobs by 2030.
Konza, a part of the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 will take advantage of the growing number of software developers in the East African nation.
“It is expected to spur massive trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young Kenyans in the information communications technology (ICT) sector,” President Mwai Kibaki said at the ceremony to launch the construction, adding it would be a “game-changer” for the country’s development.
He called on domestic and foreign investors to take advantage of Konza’s “tremendous opportunities”.
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.
Konza Technopolis Development Authority has been charged with the responsibility to oversee the building of the IT hub, which will be built in four phases.