An artist's impression of the Entry Plaza to Konza Tech City. Image courtesy of Konza Techno City.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has donated KSh8.5 billion (US$100 million) to help the Kenyan government finance the planned multi-billion dollar Kenya Techno City.
The money will fund the construction of the Thwake Dam, which will supply water to Konza.
Gabriel Negatu, the AfDB regional director of the East African Resource Centre, said the financing agreements for the dam, the construction of which begins next year, have already been finalised.
“We will be floating the tender for the construction in the next few months,” Negatu said.
The proposed dam will cover an area of approximately 7,166 acres, and span Makueni, Kitui and Mbooni districts.
Phase two of the project will entail generating 20 megawatts of power using two turbines. Phase three and four involve development of irrigation canals, off-take facilities from the dam and rural water supply schemes sanitation facilities.
AfDB has said it will compensate those losing land and support alternative livelihoods for them over an agreed duration.
It is anticipated that Konza City will be part of the Special Economic Zones that will replace the Export Processing Zones and hopefully create more than 200,000 jobs.
The project is being implemented under a public-private partnership model, where the government will provide land and build other infrastructure, such as roads, railway lines, water, telecoms and sewerage systems.
However, the Thwake project does not include construction of the rising mains for supply to Konza, as this will be funded by government.
The government has also offered a raft of tax incentives for investors putting up capital at Konza as it seeks to leverage the take-off of Kenya’s planned premier city.
ICT cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi said the construction of the dam would boost the project’s attractiveness to investors.
The donation comes after HumanIPO reported the project was under threat after a fresh tussle concerning its location, with Makueni and Machakos counties both claiming ownership of the city.
HumanIPO reported in August Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had urged China to invest in Konza, in a move to realise technology growth in the East African country.