Kenya Secures Kes.63 Billion from South Korea for Tech Development

June 5, 2024

Kenya and South Korea have signed a $485 million (Kes.63 billion) concessional development funding agreement on the sidelines of the Korea-Africa Summit.

This includes $238 million (Kes.30 billion) for the Konza Digital Media City Project.

President William Ruto said the project will boost the country’s digital ecosystem, a key government initiative aimed at expanding digital and creative economy opportunities for young Kenyans at Konza Technopolis.

“This project will provide an excellent digital media and entertainment ecosystem for research, training, and the propagation of new technologies,” he said.

He lauded Korea for the Economic Innovation Partnership Programme, which further supports Konza Technopolis.

President Ruto made these remarks on Tuesday during talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol of Korea at the Korea International Exhibition Centre in Goyang, on the outskirts of Seoul.

Ruto thanked President Yoon for Korea’s support in establishing the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KENYA-AIST), modeled after the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, an institution pivotal in Korea’s economic transformation.

The President said Kenya-AIST is nearing completion and will be unveiled later this year. He invited President Yoon to Kenya for the official opening of the institute.

“I invite Your Excellency to join us during the opening ceremony. We are confident that this institution will be a prominent showcase of Africa-Korea scientific and technological collaboration,” he added.

President Ruto cited the development of Bus Rapid Transit Line 5, the Nairobi ITS, the dualing of the 78km Machakos Junction-Emali Road, water supply and sanitation for the Konza Technopolis, and the Vaccine Production Project as some of the ongoing collaborative projects between Kenya and Korea.

During the meeting, President Ruto urged President Yoon to fast-track the implementation of the Kenya-Korea Bilateral Labour Agreement.

I assure you that my government has measures in place to ensure that any Kenyan employed in Korea complies with Korean laws and terms of engagement, including returning home at the expiry of their employment contracts,” he added.

President Ruto said Kenya is keen on enhancing trade relations with Korea to achieve balanced trade between the two friendly nations.

“Although the balance of trade currently favors Korea, we have an opportunity to work together to reduce this imbalance,” he stated.

He outlined other areas of cooperation Kenya is pursuing with Korea, including maritime development, green industrialization, and manufacturing, among others.

Ruto noted that Kenya seeks Korea’s support in developing the semiconductor industry through technology partnerships, infrastructure development, and capacity building.

“Kenya aspires to be a manufacturing and technology leader on the African continent. We invite Korean expertise to help meet our energy demands, including expanding our renewable power mix to incorporate nuclear energy,” he said.

President Yoon committed to enhancing relations between Kenya and Korea for the mutual benefit of the citizens of both nations.

He said Korea is ready to support Kenya’s ambitious transformation agenda in technology, infrastructure development, and water and dam programs.

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