When we finished writing the book, “Africa: The Next Decade,” 2005 with my co-author Prof. Arthur Gerstenfeld an idea of starting a university in Africa emerged. As we explored this idea, we invited anyone who could be interested. In the next three years those interested would explore the idea and by 2009 the thought shaped to a viable concept of implementation. Today the concept Master Development Plan made up of a 5 integrated plans that will develop an institution grow to 30,000 students’ capacity in a 90,000 residents’ town is ready.
One plan, Town House Investment and Development Plan, involves the participation of Diaspora Kenyans investing, so quality houses can be built. To test if the plan is viable I traveled and met Kenyans in different states in U.S. The positive response by many indicated Kenyans are ready to become investors and developers in a good project. I was humbled by a Kenyan who said, “I landed with nothing in this country. The education I got, the job and even the house I live in are because someone invested so I could get this opportunity to live a better life.” It is these positive thinking Kenyans who today are making the project a reality.
A great project plan that is set to last hundreds of years requires the strongest foundation possible. The passage of Kenya Constitution 2010 saw the project re-adjusted and aligned with Kenya Constitution 2010. It was painful to see the collapse of the 3000 acres development plan for Kwale that was then underway. It was good to know that the new plan we shall achieve for execution would fully comply with Kenya Constitution passed 2010.
Today I’m proud to state that the Master Development Plan is ready and it is made up of five integrated development plans namely: Education Institution Plan, Institution Town Plan, Design-Build Plan, Energy Plan and Finance Plan. The 5 plans will gradually develop 30,000 students, 90,000 residents’ and achieve about 5 million sq m of space to meet institution and residents needs for space, power, security and other social-economic factors in an environmentally planned town.
Recently, I was wondering whether the Kenyans in the Diaspora will be able to raise the capital to fund the town house investment and development plans planned for them. The answer to my question came through a story that read “KCB Bank of Kenya through a Kenya USA Sacco has offered Kshs 10 billion ($120 million) to Diaspora Kenyans to tap.” Kenyans who desire to contribute in making Kenya a better place through Kenya University Project can now do so by tapping this money.
Diaspora Kenyans who appreciate that someone else invested so they can get the job that feeds them and their family; appreciate that someone else invested so they could get the education that saw their pay rise; and appreciate that someone else invested so they could live in a good house, have now a chance to become investors in Town House plans in Kenya University Project. Diaspora Kenyans who become part of KUP Town House Plans will soon be saying, “I invested to create jobs, university education and houses for others just like others invested to create a job, education and house for me.”
By Prof. Raphael J Njoroge PhD
Professor Njoroge is the co-founder of Kenya University Project.