Saturday 17 April 2021
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N$2.2 billion for ICT City

While there are limited details available on government’s plan to construct a multibillion dollar ‘ICT City’, it is obvious the groundwork is at an advance stage and the facility is estimated to cost around N$2.2 billion.
All of the parastatals under the Ministry have been informed about the plan to construct an ICT hub that will house all SOEs that falls under the ministry and several meetings have been held between ICT minister Tjekero Tweya and the SOEs he oversees.
What information we can find is that Tweya is spearheading the process. An expert, who is directly involved in the project and can therefore not be named, said the price could increase.
According to the design philosophy of the project, ICT City is an integrated hub where people and technology connect.
“The philosophy with the main ICT building is to bring different departments together into one unit. The public sector is integrated into one noticeable and radiant whole. The idea is to bring different technologies, languages or media together. A total of 40 floors are provided with a total floor area of approximately 50 000 square metres,” reads the plan.
The NBC building will apparently be situated next to the main building to facilitate studios and preparation space.
A source close to the development said Tweya told the SOE respective bosses that the new hub will accommodate all of them and that they will have to either lease their current offices or find alternative ways to utilise them, which could include selling them.
“The minister said all SOEs under the ministry will have to move, in fact land on which the project will be constructed has already been identified. He also made it clear that he already sought Cabinet approval and that a public-private-partnership model will be used to cater for the funding needs of the project,” said the source.
A source said the construction cost of the ICT City project is yet to be determined, but hinted that government could enter into a public-private partnership due to the precarious financial situation the country finds itself in.
The land on which the hub will be built is situated in Pionierspark Park on Erf 1315. The Patriot understands the plot belongs to Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings.
According to architectural designs by LAD Architects seen by this newspaper, the hub will accommodate two hotels(five and three star), student accommodation, radio tower, exhibition and conferencing facilities and residential units.
The five star hotel will have 17 floors with a total of 270 rooms while the three star hotel will cater for 350 rooms.
There will also be a wellness centre that will have 15 floors to accommodate a state of the art hospital on the top eight floors. The centre will cater for medical practitioners, specialists, physiotherapists amongst others.
There will also be a student accommodation combined with technical schools. The student residence will have 384 rooms provided for in 12 buildings each with four floors. Since the hub will be close to the University of Namibia, the student residence will be directly adjacent to UNAM. The hub also makes provision for two schools, a combined academic as well as a technical school. Each school will be about 3000 square metres.
The hub will also house accommodation units for rent. A total of 26 blocks are provided for, each with two floors and a third floor that will consist of two bedroom upmarket penthouses or suits.
A source in support of the city argued that there is need for the hub in order to modernise Namibia technological scope and also to ensure that research in the area of science and technology is streamlined instead of having a situation whereby entities work in silos.
Although the plan is still in its gestation phase, the project has already attracted interest from abroad.
A South African-based property development company, Prince of Tides Properties, last year expressed interest in funding and constructing the ICT City.
The company is part of a South African consortium which includes Carnegie Investment and Boganela Consulting Engineers.
In a letter dated 17 August 2016, written to the ICT ministry seen by this publication, the company showed keen interest to take on the project.
“We would like to confirm our interest in the funding and construction of the proposed development of a mixed use development situated in the Windhoek West local municipality area of the Windhoek municipality, Khomas Region which will be known as the ICT City,” reads the letter seen by The Patriot.
The letter further states that the development will cater for commercial, accommodation, retail and office use.
Questions have however been asked as to whether an ICT City is an urgent need for the country consider the financial situation of the country. Tweya in the past refused to comment on the matter saying this is still just a concept.

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