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05/06/2013

Konza Techno City- Does it have what it takes to succeed?

Unless you have landed from space, then you might have heard about Konza techno- city, which will be located in Machakos, about 50 km from the Nairobi city centre. However, here are the ingredients to make the technology succeed. But question is, are they there?

1. Right Talent.
Talent is abundant in Kenya, as there are many talented Kenyan IT specialists and programmers. Kenyan Universities continue to churn thousands of graduates, so, this talent will always be there.

2. Access to Capital.
Are there enough sources of capital to fund promising ventures? This is where things go wrong. The venture capital industry in Kenya is still very nascent, and even then, many are still reluctant to fund
knowledge start-ups like internet, or software companies.

3. Favorable ecosystem.
How much has the government moved to support the sector? How many Kenyans can buy computers, or smartphones? How many Kenyans can access the internet? How many Kenyans can make payments online? How trustworthy are the online means of payment that will enable e-commerce to take place? In the first place, how many Kenyans have access to electricity that will enable them power the phones and computers continuously? How many Kenyans have basic literacy? How many Kenyans are computer literate, or have basic IT skills? These are things which are beyond the control of ordinary tech entrepreneurs in Kenya, and which might make it hard to achieve the much desired Konza project, or even a Silicon Valley style evolution. However, innovations centered around the mobile phones have a promising future.

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