Konza City, the new Silicon Valley

Like South Africa or Nigeria, Kenya is considered a digital champion in Africa. Regularly referred as an example in the chronicles of bloggers, the country's ambition is to make of Konza City the "Silicon Valley of Africa"

With more than 43 million people and a GDP estimated last year at 42 billion dollars, Kenya is a leader in East Africa. 
 
However, 75% of the assets comes from farmers and the unemployment rate peaks at 40%. 
 
Although the tertiary sector generates nearly two thirds of the national wealth, supported by tourism, financial services and ICT, the government wants to make this project the Kenyan economic renewal. 
 
Konza City aims to create up to 200,000 jobs by 2030. 
 
Konza City or "Silicon Savannah" is one of the main focus of the "Vision 2030" project initiated in 2008 and should serve as a roadmap for the country's future economic and social development. 
 
A space of 2000 acres, located 60 km south of the capital Nairobi, has been dedicated to host a true ecosystem of start-ups, investors, and researchers. 

 

The first phase of the project will be completed by end of 2017. The savannah will be replaced by a functional city with 35,000 accommodations, a railway linking Mombassa (which is the first port of the country), as well as a university campus of 1,500 students ... 
 
The goal of Silicon Savannah is to create 20,000 jobs in five years and ten times more as of 2030. 
 
The project could cost between $10 and $14.5 billion, including 5% financed by Kenya. The remaining part will be funded by private actors, who in exchange for investments will benefit tax advantages. 
 
Google, IBM and Samsung 
 
Many companies have shown interest already: Microsoft, Google and Intel have already installed their regional headquarters in Kenya. 
 
Moreover IBM chose Nairobi to set up its first African research center. 
 
It is very likely that the development of Konza City attracts other investors like Samsung, Blackberry and Huawei who are often referred to as future players of this technology hub. 

 
Collaborating already with incubators and accelerators such as iHub or 88MPH, these giants will benefit from the dynamism of local startups. 

 

 

 

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