The first major infrastructural project under the Public Private Partnership since the framework was entrenched into law two years ago will be signed Friday.
The contract to put up a 10,000-capacity hostel at Kenyatta University will be signed between the university and Africa Integras, who won the Sh5.1 billion tender.
Under the deal, the consortium led by a New York-based firm with local partners Triad Architects, Broll Kenya Facility Managers and EPCO contractors will construct and operate the hostel for 20 years to recover their investment.
Over 70 huge infrastructural projects have been lined up by the government to be done under the same model.
“The hostel will be inclusive of special units for post graduate students as well as married students,” read a statement posted by the university on its web site.
Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, PPP unit Director Stanley Kamau and other top government officials from the Treasury are expected to attend the landmark event.
Five other public universities have expressed interest to undertake similar ventures as the reality of more admission and hostel demand continues to pile pressure on the few facilities in the institutions of higher learning.
PPP unit has already identified an umbrella transaction adviser to assist the five institutions expand hostel capacity.
Kenyatta University has an undergraduate student population of 50,000 with only 10,000 currently housed at 21 hostels.
International Finance Corporation, the World Bank private lending and advisory arm was the lead adviser to the project which was approved by the Cabinet last month.
The student population in Kenyatta University is expected to hit over 70,000 in the next two years. The university is also planning to open a 600-bed capacity Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital, which expected to cut the costs associated with seeking treatment abroad.
The hospital was constructed through a Sh9.85 billion concession loan with Chinese Export Import ( Exim) Bank in 2011. Construction of another 600 -bed capacity children hospital is already underway.
The roll out of free primary education introduced in 2002 tripled the number of students in primary Schools; causing pressure on university enrolment, and accommodation facilities.
The first group under the free primary education programme graduated from secondary schools last year with 67,124 qualified to join public universities this year.
Africa Integras is a global investor specialising in early-risk capital to develop education infrastructure including academic classrooms, student hostels, faculty housing and commercial and leisure facilities using the PPP approach.