Parameters for a successful technology park: a comparative analysis of Konza ICT City and international best practices
Makau, Anne M
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The proposed Konza Technology City project by the Kenyan government and vision 2030 has had its fare share of criticism. A major concern has been its controversial cost of 1.2 trillion shillings and whether Kenya is mature enough to become Africa‟s silicon savannah. While infrastructure is one thing, one of the biggest challenges many ICT start-ups and initiatives within Africa have has to do with attracting the right kind of human capital with the right skill sets to support such initiatives. This paper evaluates the generic parameters for development and management of a successful technology park and compares Konza Technology City with international best practice. This is to help evaluate whether Konza will succeed and lead to job creation and economic growth in Kenya. Some of these generic parameters include triple helix of government, university and industry, availability of skilled labour, image of the location, planning context and commercial survival of the park, relevant telecom facilities and a culture of risk taking entrepreneurship. To achieve the research objectives, comparative case study research method is used. Guided interviews with key Konza Technology City stakeholders are done. Review of empirical studies for the selected Technology parks considered successful internationally namely; Smart Village in Egypt, Cyberjaya in Malaysia, Cyber City in Mauritius, International Technology City in India and Silicon Valley in USA is also done. Konza is then measured against these successful parks to establish how it compares with international best practice.