Kenya recently celebrated 50 years of independence, the event was marked with pomp and colour led by President Kenyatta who was born in the same period. For majority of the nation who are youths under the age of 35 colonial rule is just a part of history. Most of us were been born in a time when oppression, colonialism was out of topic in Africa. The challenges had moved to poverty, hunger and conflict. So marking independence from colonial oppression should not mean much. Nevertheless Kenya has in the recent past shifted gear to a more positive outlook for its future. Looking back to the events in the last half century it is clear we are curving a new beginning.
The challenges identified at Independence were poverty, ignorance and disease. The challenges in our present, though similar solutions are clearer, top being building a foundation for economic transformation. Building infrastructure and advancing technology will be the main drivers for this transformation. Kenya envisions itself being a middle-income country by the year 2030. The Kenyan economy has seen moderate growth over the past 4 years averaging at 4.5% with it expected to hit 6% in 2013.
Kenya has also embarked on fast tracking infrastructure development across the country with expansion of transport and communication lines. The whole landscape will be totally different in the near future. Some of these projects include Mega cities like Tatu and Konza Cities. Tatu City, is a proposed residential and commercial project on 1,035 hectares of land that wil accommodate 62,000 residents in its well planned homes. The $10 billion Konza City will be on 5,000 acres of land in Machakos County. The City will feature civic and commercial architecture and will house the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) technology park and several corporate companies.
Kenya is also expanding its infrastructure regionally with Projects like Lamu Port, South Sudan, and Ethiopia Transit project (LAPSET) set to open up the Northern part of the country as a major corridor of development in the region. The Project will consist of a port, Road network; Oil pipelines an Oil refinery at Bargoni, Three Airports and Three resort cities. A standard gauge high speed railway project has also been initiated. It is set to connect the port city of Mombasa to Kampala in Uganda extend lines to Rwanda and South Sudan. Traffic in the city of Nairobi is also going to be improved. Roads are being improved to eliminate bottle necks and enhance traffic circulation. Thika Highway was recently expanded and has led to decongestion and easier travel between Nairobi and Thika town. Outer Ring road seeks to expand the existing single carriageway road to a two-lane dual carriageway.
With these developing transport network and its new devolved system the balance has shifted from Nairobi. Counties are the new focus on property; Nairobi is already recording a slump in residential properties. The Hass property index recorded 2.3% drop in asking prices for detached houses in Nairobi over three months. The Capital city is shaping up to commercial landscape as even apartments are being converted to offices while residential homes are moving away from Nairobi. With a shortfall of about 100,000 units each year this will go a long way in helping decongest the city.