[kictanet] KONZA: The failed promise of Kenya’s smart city
ngigi at at.co.ke
Wed Jun 2 14:36:05 EAT 2021
Our biggest problem is that we start our projects backwards.... The cart
before the horse mantra!
When we travel and we see a solid city and/or area such as Shenzen, Silicon
Valley et.al, we quickly come back and want to build a similar city
*without* first asking the hard questions; such as what *actually led* to
the rise of those cities and regions? We just want to build new cities!
I once heard from a 'higher up' that once we build the walls & buildings at
Konza and firms relocate there, we will see collaboration and explosion of
Kenya inventions as we haven't seen before! I asked them to get a map of
Nairobi and put a compass at the center, draw a 30KM radius and just about
most higher education institutions & tech firms would be there and yet we
don't see that 'explosion'.
And I highly doubt we'd see it by moving to a veritable desert.
IMO, disband Konza Technolopolis / Parastatal, it's currently eating
Billions that could have much better use in our tech ecosystem etc . Give
Konza land to some campus(es), give them 30-50 years (Yes, that much time)
to build up and attract solid talent. Once we have that ecosystem, use
reserved areas around it for expansion into tech hubs...
In the meantime, concentrate on building tech hubs & tech ecosystems & GoK
funded investments around Nairobi, that's where the current ecosystem
On Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 7:35 AM Ali Hussein via KICTANet <
kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
> Thanks for sharing.
> Listers, even the best-laid plans can miss their targets. I'd rather we
> 1. What went wrong.
> 2. What are the lessons to be learned.
> 3. Can the project get back on track?
> 4. Has it gone wrong? How long does it take to build a new city?
> *Ali Hussein*
> Digital Transformation
> Tel: +254 713 601113
> Twitter: @AliHKassim
> Skype: abu-jomo
> LinkedIn: http://ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
> Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
> mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
> organizations that I work with.
> On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 7:32 PM Grace Githaiga via KICTANet <
> kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>> This may be of interest to some here.
>> Kenya was one of the earliest countries to outsource its dreaming to
>> McKinsey. The entire Vision 2030 strategy was developed by the Kenyan
>> government in conjunction with McKinsey & Company, with Konza being one of
>> many techno-utopian urban renewal projects the firm was involved in. At
>> first, most were undertaken in Asia, then, in the 2000s, the focus shifted
>> to African countries, which were seen as growth markets for big tech and
>> financial corporations.
>> ...the McKinseyfication of government and federal services often means
>> that the mere production of paperwork counts as progress. ...The
>> question then becomes, Who is responsible for the failure of Konza?”
>> Read on:
>> Grace Githaiga
>> KICTANet Convenor
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> KICTANet is a multi-stakeholder Think Tank for people and institutions
> interested and involved in ICT policy and regulation. KICTANet is a
> catalyst for reform in the Information and Communication Technology sector.
> Its work is guided by four pillars of Policy Advocacy, Capacity Building,
> Research, and Stakeholder Engagement.
> KICTANetiquette : Adhere to the same standards of acceptable behaviors
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> share knowledge, don't flame or abuse or personalize, respect privacy, do
> not spam, do not market your wares or qualifications.
> KICTANet - The Power of Communities, is Kenya's premier ICT policy
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