Technology
‘Silicon Savannah’ Set To Become Kenyan IT Hub in 20 Years
January 25, 2013
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Kenya is counting that their major investment in the technology sector will turn former ranch land into another worldwide 'Silicon Valley.'

Nicknamed 'Silicon Savannah,' the BBC reports that Kenya hopes to lead the way as the centre for the next generation of digital industry leaders.

Some of the biggest brands in the world of technology--Google, Intel, and Microsoft, among them--have already set up shop in the country on the eastern side of Africa.

To take advantage of the existing tech presence, Kenya's political parties have all agreed to rally together to support the creation of Konza Technology City through their Vision 2030 project.

Konza is being built on 5,000 acres of land 60 km southeast of Nairobi (the capital of Kenya), and will cost--y'all ready for this?--nearly 14.5 billion dollars.

The Kenyan government is also offering major tax incentives to entice companies to set up shop in Konza.

Kenya-4.jpgAs the Guardian originally reported back in October, Kenyan minister Dr. Bitange Ndemo explained the whole thing started as a joke.

Discussions with other African countries were delaying matters so long that Dr. Ndemo took matters into his own hands. After researching the cost it would take to lay fibre optic cables underwater, the whole process was completed in two years, increasing access to high-speed internet. According to the Guardian, the country now has 6 million broadband connections and 18 million internet users.

Though the city will take nearly 20 years to build, the hope is that Konza will create over 200,000 jobs by the time development is completed.

Kenya-3.jpgThe BBC report quoted Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki, who called the development a 'game-changer' and encouraged investors from around the world to make the most of the 'tremendous opportunities' it presents.

Already, the effects of the announcement--and this week's ground breaking--have led to rising real estate prices in the area.

Konza will be more than an IT hub, with schools (including a university campus), hospitals, hotels, and 35,000 homes figuring in the development.

Read more about Vision 2030 here.

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