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Top companies want in on Kenya's new tech city

Posting in Cities

The land where Kenya's new technology-focused city will be built is mostly barren and the images we have are just artistic renderings, but there is real interest from major companies in Kenya's $14.5 billion venture, which broke ground earlier this week.

According to The East African, 14 companies, including major foreign companies, have shown interest in investing in the first of four five year development stages of the Konza Technology City. Those companies include Google, Samsung, Chinese Huawei Technologies, Research in Motion, and Telemac, among others. Local firm Safaricom -- developer of the popular M-Pesa mobile banking service -- is also reportedly interested in the project.

“The 14 are willing to start work immediately,” said Dr Ndemo during the official launch of the 5,000-acre project by President Mwai Kibaki at the site 60 kilometres South-East of Nairobi Wednesday.

Mr Kibaki launched the new integrated city and expressed the government’s commitment to building basic infrastructure, including extending the dual carriage road from Athi River, provision of electricity from a new multipurpose dam and a high-speed railway to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The city, which hopes to attract 200,000 IT jobs when it is complete in 20 years, will be funded through a public-private partnership model, meaning private interment from top companies is vital to its success.

Top companies line up for piece of Konza [The East African]

— By on January 24, 2013, 12:05 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure