The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korea towards an establishment of a graduate university at the Konza technology city.
Konza Technopolis Development Agency (KOTDA) invited bids for setting up of the university and the Korean KAIST came out as the successful bidders for the turnkey-based education consultancy.
Samwoo and Sunjin architecture and engineering companies also emerged as successful bidders for the construction of the university. The contracts for the development of the university were signed by KOTDA in November last year.
The project is funded by the Korean Exim Bank at a loan of US $10m. Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will be the name of the proposed graduate university and it will be modelled on the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
Like the Kenyan KAIST, Korean KAIST was founded through a foreign financial support from USAID in 1971, as a loan worth US $6m. This formed the foundation for the transformation of the Korean economy from being agricultural to industrialized economy due the university’s provision of the necessary manpower that was crucial for industrialization.
Transforming Kenya into a middle-income country
The government of Kenya hopes that upon completion, KAIST will have a positive impact towards the attainment of Vision 2030 to transform Kenya into a middle-income country through the promotion of science, technology and innovation for national economic growth. To this end, the medium-term plan is to issue specialized research and training in various cutting-edge engineering and advanced science fields.
The university will be a one of its kind (first advanced science and technology institute) in the nation and it is expected to admit its first batch of 200 graduate students in 36 months’ time.