By Claire Wanja
The construction of the Korean funded Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at the Konza Technopolis City is set to begin in the second quarter of 2017, Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat has announced.
This comes after the Governments of Kenya and South Korea agreed on all regulatory framework that will see the Asian nation inject Sh10 billion to set up the public research university at Konza Techno City.
Top Government officials including the Principal Secretary National Treasury Kamau Thugge, PS Higher Education Prof Colleta Suda, PS Transport Wilson Nyakera Irungu, PS ICT Engineer Victor Kyallo, the Director Presidential Delivery Unit Andrew Wakahiu, Vision Delivery Board member Amb Dennis Awori and the Director General Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat announced the development this morning at a Nairobi Hotel.
‘’We want to move as quickly and as timely as possible to deliver Konza City. We had to get everything right, which is why we have invested heavily in developing the master plan and critical infrastructure including roads, water and electricity, all of which are now at Konza. These fundamentals have enabled all envisioned development to now take off, with KAIST as the anchor tenant at Konza,’’ said Dr Julius N. Muia, Director General Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat.
The announcement comes following agreements signed between His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and Her Excellency President Park Geun-hye of South Korea during her recent visit.
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology is the first and top science and technology research university in Korea. Founded in 1971 to raise elites in the two principal fields, critical for Korea’s and indeed Kenya’s economic takeoff.
KAIST has been the gateway to advanced learning, innovation, and a driving engine for the development of Korea for past 4 decades. KAIST has always been touted as Asia’s top-notch research university of science wunderkinds and world famous faculty members, and its establishment in Kenya will enhance the quality of higher learning in Kenya while nurturing a technologically advanced population producing creative young talents and thought leaders.
Speaking at the media briefing, Konza Technopolis Development Authority CEO Engineer John Tonui laid out the progress of other critical support infrastructure that will establish Konza as an ICT hub and the driver of development in Africa.
‘’We expect to table to Konza Bill within the current Parliament, which is designed to position Konza City to achieve its dream and indeed Vision 2030,’’ said Eng Tonui.
Tonui also revealed that in the past year, Konza has received over 400 expressions of interest from investors interested in setting up base at the Technopolis, some solicited while others have been solicited. They include 7 local universities led by the University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Technical University of Kenya, Multimedia University and others.
The first phase of Konza where KAIST will be based sits on 400 acres of land, and will generate 17,000 jobs upon completion. Konza City once fully established will generate at least 250,000 jobs according to Engineer John Tonui.