Kenya’s data centre and highway gets US$666m China funding.

A data centre and highway in Kenya have received 67.5 billion shillings (US$666 million) as funding from China. The funds were issued  at Beijing where Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the second Belt and Road Forum.

The data center will be in a tech city which is already under construction; and is termed as the Konza project since it is located in Konza. Statement from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office suggest that 17.5 billion shillings (US$173 million) will be for the development of data center within the Konza project. Chinese telecoms firm – Huawei, will be in charge of the Konza tech city development.

The remaining 5o billion shillings (US$493 million) will be for building a highway in the capital city – Nairobi.  The highway will link the main airport with the outlying districts; another Chinese company – China Road and Bridge Corporation will also be in charge of the construction of this highway. Note that the total cost for the highway is 51 billion shillings.

Kenya over the past few years have been receiving funds from China, in addition to technology and equipment which it is using to develop its infrastructure. Its biggest infrastructure since after independence is the new railway linking Mombasa to Nairobi. The railway opened in 2017.

Meanwhile, critics are accusing Kenyatta’s government of imposing the future generations with unbearable debt burdens by borrowing more funds from China. But in response the government is saying that borrowing to build infrastructure will prompt economic development.

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