The Senate Information, Communication and Technology Committee Chairperson Allan Chesang has said Parliament will support a Bill seeking to create Konza Technopolis Authority.
Mr Chesang said the Bill sponsored by Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba will enable the establishment of the Authority which shall administer planning, development and management of the Technopolis and formulate a development plan to be reviewed every ten years.
The Trans Nzoia Senator who led a team on a tour of the facility in Machakos County said the Konza Technopolis is expected to position Kenya as an Information, Communication Technology hub for Africa and there was remarkable progress undertaken in the last eight years towards achieving this.
“Konza Technopolis Authority will initiate the formulation of policies, strategies and plans for the development in consultation with the relevant State agencies, county governments and other stakeholders and facilitate the development of industrial, commercial, educational, residential, recreational and related facilities and infrastructure in the Technopolis,” said Chesang.
Senate ICT Committee Vice Chairperson Nominated Senator Miraj Abdullahi, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator William Kisang, Makueni Senator Dan Maanzo and Nominated Senator Karen Nyamu pledged to lobby their colleagues in the House to support the Bill.
Senator Maanzo said residents of Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado counties who reside near the 5,000 acres Konza Technopolis support the project fully. He noted that the Bill will provide a framework for the operationalisation of the city once it is complete and asked that locals be given priority in employment opportunities.
According to the Bill, the Authority will be expected to monitor and evaluate the development and performance of any project within the technopolis and facilitate the construction of any works necessary for the protection and preservation of natural resources.
This will be done in collaboration with the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation. “This will facilitate the specialised research and development in high technology in collaboration with relevant institutions of higher learning and research institutions and facilitate the conduct of scientific research and development in technology and innovation in Kenya,” reads the Bill in part.
The Authority will facilitate the establishment and development of industries that incorporate the use of high technology in their activities, the economic and social development of the technopolis, development and management of ICT parks.
According to the Bill, the Authority will be tasked to promote and market locally and globally, opportunities for investment in ICT and industrial activities in the technopolis and any other function as may be conferred on it by any other written law.
Konza Technopolis Authority will collaborate with other State agencies and counties in facilitating the issuance of licenses within the technopolis.