Kenya has secured US $699m from China for the development of the Konza Data Centre and Smart Cities Project and the JKIA-James Gichuru expressway.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is in China for the second Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) forum, witnessed the signing of the deals that will be fulfilled through concessional financing and Public Private-Partnership (PPP).
Konza data centre
The Konza data centre and smart cities project, which will be undertaken by telecommunications giant Huawei and the ICT Ministry, is worth US $ 173m while the expressway project, by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, is worth US $495m.
Project works on Konza project entails the development of core infrastructure including a National Cloud Data Centre, Smart ICT Network, Public Safe City and Smart Traffic Solutions, and a Government Cloud and Enterprise Service. Phase I of the project is estimated to create over 17,000 jobs and contribute over US $800m to the Kenyan economy.
The development is part of the Konza Techno City, a Vision 2030 flagship project started in 2008 and aimed at developing technology-intensive and high-tech industries in ICT, biotechnology and e-commerce.
JKIA -James Gichuru expressway
The JKIA -James Gichuru expressway on the hand is projected to be one of its kind in Africa aimed at easing traffic flow on the bus Mombasa highway. It is part of government interventions to decongest key roads in Nairobi.
The road will have features such as underpasses, overpasses, exits and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) component covering the entire stretch. President Kenyatta thanked China for projects which he said were expanding economic activities and unlocking the potential for prosperity in Kenya and other developing countries.
Additionally, President Uhuru also signed an agreement with China for the operation and maintenance service of the Nairobi-Naivasha segment of the standard gauge railway (SGR).
The president acknowledged that the inception of the Belt and Road Initiative has forged cooperation in the development of critical sectors including expansion of infrastructure, education and capacity building, trade facilitation and investment, agricultural modernization, industrial promotion and energy connectivity in the country.