A group of Kenyan investors in Diaspora plan to embark on a Sh100 billion project which involves constructing a university with a 30,000 student capacity in Taita Taveta County.
According to the Standard, the investors will also develop a new town to serve the university in what is called the “Institution Town Development Plan” which has been factored in the Sh100 billion. Its implementation has been approved by the county government.
Dan Kamau, one of the officials in charge of the Diaspora University Town Project, said that they have already sourced 1,500 acres of land which has been approved.
They are also sourcing for another 1, 500 acres to get the requisite acreage required for the project.
Kamau said the groundbreaking is scheduled for August. The proposed university is modeled around the Amherst Town in Massachusetts.
The project is now awaiting strategic environmental assessment. It will create 20, 000 jobs during the first five years of its construction and related infrastructure which includes the university’s 6, 000 town houses.
“Entrepreneurs are planning to supply materials and equipment. The site physical planning is ongoing. We are still developing resources needed and are awaiting a bill to be passed at the Taita Taveta County Assembly for additional land,” Kamau told the Standard.
Kamau is the author of Gambling with Destiny. He is also an entrepreneur who lives in the US.
He said the idea to build a university in Taita Taveta was started by Prof Arthur Gerstenfeld and the late Prof Raphael Njoroge of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
The two professors had a vision of having university in Africa that applied WPI project-based learning which incorporates research and innovation through projects.
WPI had been rated number by Wall Street Journal in combining research and teaching in the US.
Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja lauded the project saying he will support them to ensure their dream comes true.
“As we have given them land, we will provide them with every necessary support to have the project become a reality,” said Samboja.