Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) has today hosted a high level innovation conference dubbed the The Konza Innovation Ecosystem Forum. The forum is expected to showcase Kenya’s capability to spur an innovation ecosystem.
The forum featured stakeholders in government and the private sector and cast a spotlight on the innovation challenges that Kenya is facing. Partners included KCB Bank, Safaricom, Huawei, Machakos University and Meru University. Students from Machakos University and Meru University also showcased their projects and also participated in the Konza Smart Cities Challenge and pitched their ideas to the various judges.
There was also a site visit of the 5,000 acre Konza City. Construction has began in Phase 1 which covers 400 acres. Phase 1A of the project will be a Science and Technology Park. It consists of the Konza Complex which will house a shared work-space for innovators, a hotel and a conference area. The complex is scheduled to be done by April 2019. This phase will also include construction of a Training Institute of Science, Referral Hospital, and a Science and Technology Camp for Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and ICT. Additionally, infrastructure for Phase I will done in 42 months. This includes road construction, water connection, waste management and electrical connection.
After the forum, Konza hosted a two-day STEM Bootcamp for young innovators aged 7 and 15 years slated under the theme Be tomorrows Innovators. The bootcamp featured 30 children from Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado County and took part in the challenge on robotics concepts and elementary programming principles. This will help them apply critical thinking skills and encourage collaboration in tackling assigned challenges and projects. The young innovators also also pitched their ideas to a panel of judges who awarded the best ideas.
To meet the needs of the Government, Academia, Community/Civil society and Industry, KoTDA is developing an initiative for institutions interested in shaping the direction of Konza Technopolis. This will ensure key players are involved in the development of Konza Technopolis.
In support of the Konza Technopolis Innovation agenda, Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for ICT stated: “As one of the agencies assigned to bringing this dream to life, we are impressed with the progress that KoTDA has achieved so far. The attraction of foreign and local partners and rollout of phase one indicates that there is hope that Kenya is on course to becoming the innovation hub on the continent.”
The Government of Kenya established the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) to facilitate the development of Konza as a techonology hub. KoTDA is responsible for overseeing the development and management of Konza.