The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: State to Set Up Biggest Data Centre in Konza

The government is set to pave the way for set up of technology infrastructure at Konza Techno City with a Tier 4 data centre.

The data centre which will host a bulk of the public information could be among the first tenants once the initial construction projects are completed in about three years.

Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat director general Mugo Kibati said the government has committed to taking up space at Konza City which was commissioned on Wednesday.

"Charity begins at home and even as we collaborate to attract international investors to Konza, I am glad that the government has accepted the proposal to take a lead and put up an advanced Data Centre at Konza Techno City in coming years," Kibati said.

The ultra-modern facility will complement the existing tier 2 Government Data Centre which is already operating at optimum capacity.

It currently links government ministries, departments and agencies and with a move towards a fully fledged e-government, there is need for a upgraded facility.

There are already urgent plans to scale-up the Tier 2 GDC to a tier 3 facility.

Tier 4 data centre is the most stringent level which is designed to host mission critical computer systems, with fully redundant subsystems and compartmentalised security zones.

Given the existing information security threats, both the proposed and existing Government Data Centres, Kibati pointed out, have helped to promote the security of government information through a harmonised and centrally managed model.

The concept of the smart city is based on the network combination of the internet, telecommunication, broadcast, wireless broadband and Internet of Things (IoT) technology among others.

Besides government data centre, other private local and international companies are expected to set up some of their operations, especially in innovation and light electronic manufacturing, in Konza.

Some of the other companies in the ICT sector that are eyeing investments in the smart city include Huawei, Samsung, RIM, Danish Technologies and Telemac of india. Local ones include Safaricom, Craft Silicon and Wananchi Group though no specifics on the nature of operations they want to put there has been given yet.

As an innovation centre, institutions like Jomo Kenyatta University of Information and Technology, University of Nairobi, Multi Media University, Kenya Medical Research Institute and Kenya Agricultural Research institute are all expected there.

Konza will have an emphasis on Business Process Outsourcing and Information Technology Enabled Services with facilities like call centres and financial sector hubs.

James Mwangi, the Vision 2030 chairman, said on Wednesday Kenya needs to emphasise on services export without Kenyans having to relocate.

"Services export is growing faster than other sectors of the economy," Mwangi said.

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