KONZA: The failed promise of Kenya’s smart city

Ngigi

Again…I can’t argue with your thinking. However, think about…If we are
attracting a billion now…think how Konza can 10x that…

Regards

*Ali Hussein*

Digital Transformation

Tel: +254 713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
<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 Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 4:24 PM Ngigi Waithaka <ngigi@at.co.ke> wrote:

> Ali,
>
> While the investment is good & welcome, I still think we are way off what
> I can call *explosion*, building solid, high value technology products. We
> are not deliberate enough to build such an ecosystem. The current
> investments we are seeing, I would give credit more to an awakening in
> Western countries of .KEs & other African nations’ nascent potential and a
> lot of ‘free’ money in the current global financial system.
>
> All this though is happening despite Konza, so you would have to ask,
> what’s the point really of Konza, what value does it add to the
> ‘innovation’ ecosystem that would have otherwise been absent to justify the
> humongous investment from GoK ?
>
> Perhaps its time we approached our brother from down South about building
> a launch site smack right in the middle of the Equator or a Gigafactory!
> Such things! Gamechangers!
>
> That should be Konza… 🙂
>
> On Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 3:36 PM Ali Hussein <ali@hussein.me.ke> wrote:
>
>> Ngigi
>>
>> Cant argue with your thought process. Just a small correction however.
>> The explosion you have mentioned is happening right before our eyes.
>> Despite Konza not being completed. In the last couple of years VC
>> Investment in Kenya has surpassed the billion dollar mark.
>>
>> Talk of Vitu Kwa Ground….
>>
>> *Ali Hussein*
>> *Digital Transformation *
>>
>> +254 0713 601113
>>
>> Twitter: @AliHKassim
>>
>> Skype: abu-jomo
>>
>> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
>>
>> “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a
>> habit.” ~ Aristotle
>>
>>
>> Sent from my iPad
>>
>> On 2 Jun 2021, at 2:36 PM, Ngigi Waithaka <ngigi@at.co.ke> wrote:
>>
>> 
>> Ali,
>>
>> 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
>> currently is…
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> On Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 7:35 AM Ali Hussein via KICTANet <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>>> GG
>>>
>>> Thanks for sharing.
>>>
>>> Listers, even the best-laid plans can miss their targets. I’d rather we
>>> discuss:-
>>>
>>> 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?
>>>
>>> Regards
>>>
>>> *Ali Hussein*
>>>
>>> Digital Transformation
>>>
>>>
>>> Tel: +254 713 601113
>>>
>>> Twitter: @AliHKassim
>>>
>>> Skype: abu-jomo
>>>
>>> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
>>> <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@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Listers
>>>> This may be of interest to some here.
>>>> Rgds
>>>> Grace
>>>>
>>>> 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:
>>>> restofworld.org/2021/the-failed-promise-of-kenyas-smart-city/
>>>> —
>>>>
>>>> Grace Githaiga
>>>> KICTANet Convenor
>>>>
>>>> KICTANet portals
>>>> KICTANet.or.ke <kictanet.or.ke/> | Twitter
>>>> | LinkedIn
>>>> <www.linkedin.com/company/18428106/admin/> | Facebook
>>>> <www.facebook.com/KICTANet/>
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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
>>> online that you follow in real life: respect people’s times and bandwidth,
>>> 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
>>> engagement platform.
>>>
>>
>>
>> —
>> *Regards,*
>>
>> *Wait**haka Ngigi*
>> Chief Executive Officer | Alliance Technologies | MCK Nairobi Synod
>> Building
>> T +254 20 525 0750 |Office Mobile: +254 716 201061 | M +254 737 811 000
>> www.at.co.ke
>>
>>
>
> —
> *Regards,*
>
> *Wait**haka Ngigi*
> Chief Executive Officer | Alliance Technologies | MCK Nairobi Synod
> Building
> T +254 20 525 0750 |Office Mobile: +254 716 201061 | M +254 737 811 000
> www.at.co.ke
>

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