First phase of Kenya's smart city Konza is ready for development, says Konza Development CEO John Tanui

John Tanui, Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA)

The first country in the region to set up a smart city, Konza Techno City, Kenya is way ahead in East Africa’s ICT development race. John Tanui, CEO of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority, looks at the impact the development will have on Kenya and how Phase 1A of “Africa’s Silicon Savannah” is now primed for development.

How does the future of ICT on the continent illustrate the growth potential of Africa?

After decades of relative isolation due to poor ICT infrastructure, projects building mobile and high-speed internet networks for the region’s more than 900 million people are now being completed with astonishing speed. As cellular phone coverage expands, mobile devices are becoming more common: 79% of people in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to have mobile phones by 2020.

Also, as countries are seeing their technological infrastructure move closer to the cutting edge, sub-Saharan economies are already benefiting from what has been called the “leapfrog effect.” Rather than investing in – and then upgrading – older fixed-line technologies such as phone lines, countries can realize cost efficiencies by jumping straight into mobile broadband. This is actually enabling the region to develop more quickly than industrialized countries did in the past.

Read more: Phase 1A of tech city ready for development