A planned state-of-the-art digital city is set to transform Kilifi county. Centum Investment Limited, which is behind the project in Vipingo area, will use part of the 10,000 acres land it recently acquired from Rea Vipingo sisal estates to build a model for the new East African cities.
A director of Centum and renowned Nairobi businessman, also Brand Kenya Board chairman, Dr Chris Kirubi, says the project will be supported by the latest technological infrastructures, amenities and services.
“The urban environment will be anchored on light and medium industrial projects when completed,” he said. Kirubi made the revelations at Pwani University during the recent Kilifi County International Investment Conference attended by hundreds of local and international investors.
“The Vipingo Development Project is designed to provide all the advantages of a sustainable urban environment as well as serve the needs of industries and businesses,” he said.
“It will also integrate an industrial park, commercial zones, social infrastructures, healthcare, education and sports, low to high density residential zones, hospitality facilities, recreational and civic amenities, among others,” Kirubi said.
With 15,000 employees, Centum’s key real projects include Vipingo Development in Kilifi county, Two Rivers Development in Nairobi county and Pearl Marina Estate in Entebbe in Uganda. The company is also involved in horticultural farming in Nyandarua county.
Kirubi termed Centum as a creator of investment-grade opportunities of scale across key sectors of the economy including real estate, fast-moving consumer goods, financial services, power, agribusiness, education and healthcare.
On corporate social responsibility, he said Vipingo Development will offer 50 scholarships annually to Form One students who score more than 300 marks in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) national examinations.
“Education facilities in the region will be upgraded through a fund set up by Centum. Already, two primary schools, Timboni and Makonde are benefiting from the kitty,” he said.
Kirubi said the community would benefit from a vocational training institute that the company will set up in the area. Scholarships will also be offered to county residents to acquire useful vocational skills.
“This project will open the region to investors from across the world and establish a labour desk to assist locals find jobs within the industries in the area,” he said. Apart from creating jobs for Kilifi residents, the proposed digital city will make the county an economic hub of choice in the Coast region and reduce the dependence on tourism by encouraging manufacturing.
On environment, Kirubi said Vipingo Development Project will get 30 per cent of its power from renewable power sources of wind and solar power. The project will also have a water desalination plant purifying three million litres of seawater daily.