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US firm Tetra Tech Inc to oversee development of Kenya’s smart city

The Konza Techno City would spur trade, investment and employment. (Image source: Konza City)

Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) has signed a US$25mn contract with US-based Tetra Tech Inc to develop Phase-1 of the Konza Techno City in Kenya

Colorado-centred Tetra Tech Inc is the lead firm for the project and has been contracted as the Master Delivery Partner 2 (MDP2) for the smart city project in Kenya.

The MDP2 is a consortium of 11 firms from the US, Germany, Netherlands, UAE and five firms from the east African nation.

Michael Rothhammer, vice-president of Tetra Tech Inc, said, “With years of experience in signing and developing technology across the globe, we will develop infrastructure on which the technology city will drive Kenya’s ambitious economic growth projections.”

The consortium will provide a masterplan-level design, identifying and structuring financing for sustainable options to the city and delivering project-to-scale construction management too.

According to reports, the Konza Techno City would take 20 years for completion. Former president Mwai Kibaki had stated in 2013 that this new project would “spur trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young people”.

Konza Techno City will attract business process outsourcing (BPO), software development, data centres, call centres, disaster recovery centres and light assembly manufacturing. The smart city would be located on a 20mn sq m site along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, 60km south-east of Nairobi. This smart city project is expected to cost US$14.5bn and would create 20,000 jobs by 2015.

In the recent past, local software developers have produced innovations that have changed business practices in sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, M-pesa — the mobile-phone based money transfer and micro-financing service — was developed locally and met with success in the region. Hence the Kenyan government wants to harness a pool of young innovators and incubate similar ideas, according to reports.

— By Mwangi Mumero


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