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Impacts of Covid-19 on the Konza Technopolis in Kenya

Engineer John Tanui is the CEO of Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA), a semi-autonomous government agency tasked with building Kenya's first smart techno city. We chat about the Konza Technopolis, his worst nightmare of Coivd-19, the impact of Covid-19 on them, rapid urbanisation, new opportunities and what future cities will need.

Key Takeaways

Introduction to the Konza Technopolis

  • Objective to bring in a new economic driver for the Kenyan economy especially for engineering, ICT, and life sciences.
  • Enhancement in innovation and knowledge economy

The worst nightmare of Covid-19

  • Issue of people being infected.
  • Consequences and impact on individuals and the economy and the projects that they are working on.

The end of rapid urbanization?

  • There will be serious impacts and the consequences of Covid-19 will live with us for a long time.
  • Urbanisation will continue but in a different way.
  • We need to rethink densities.
  • Cities are still the best platform to provide opportunities and access to healthcare

John’s beliefs that has now been confirmed

  • Enhanced his belief in smart, resilient, and sustainable cities which it well-positioned to address pandemics.
  • New buildings limit the need for contact, limiting points of touch
  • Work from home will arrive and stay for a long time

Impact of Covid-19 on Konza Technopolis

  • Detailed new guidelines to comply regarding new regulations
  • New processes and ways of doing things at Konza Technopolis
  • The main agenda of a CEO is the safety of your people

Focus on new opportunities

  • Put good programs and systems in place to ensure safety first. People must feel secure.
  • Look at opportunities that are presenting themselves
  • New cities will factor in the smart city concept with a solid digital platform, limited need to travel, minimal contact points, automation, ease of collaboration and communication.

About Eng John Tanui, Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) and Konza Technopolis

Eng. John Tanui is the CEO of Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA), a semi-autonomous government agency tasked with building Kenya’s first smart techno city whose aim is to create a new economic drive for the Nation aimed at advancing Kenya’s global role in Innovation, Technology and Knowledge economy.  Prior to joining KoTDA, Eng. Tanui was the deputy country CEO & VP Huawei technologies responsible for delivery in four countries namely Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and Djibouti. Prior to that, he was the Director of Technical Service Department Huawei Technologies (Kenya) where he was responsible for its assets, revenue, costs and profit and a wireless product Manager in 13 countries of East and Central Africa.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Technology in Electrical and Communication Engineering from Moi University and an MBA in International Business from the University of Nairobi where he is currently pursuing PhD in global business management. He is a member of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (MIEK), a registered engineer and a member of the Academy of International Business.

The Government of Kenya established the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) as a special purpose entity to facilitate the development of Konza. The mission of KoTDA is to ensure that Konza grows into a sustainable, world-class technology hub and a major economic driver for the nation, with a vibrant mix of businesses, workers, residents, and urban amenities. KoTDA is responsible for overseeing the development and management of Konza, and for establishing a strong value proposition for businesses to locate and expand in Konza. KoTDA’s Board of Directors was appointed in 2013. The Board is currently overseeing the development of infrastructure for Phase 1 of Konza.

Konza (Konza Technopolis) is a key flagship project of Kenya’s Vision 2030 economic development portfolio. Konza will be a world-class city, powered by a thriving information, communications and technology (ICT) sector, superior reliable infrastructure, and business-friendly governance systems.

Web: www.konza.go.ke

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