On Monday, technology experts gathered in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to promote the development of smart cities in Africa. The Data Driven Cities conference was attended by over 100 stakeholders comprising senior government officials, the private sector, and academia in Africa to foster innovation and collaboration in the development of smart cities on the continent that provide efficient services to its residents (source).
Edward Kisiang’ani, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Digital Economy, said in his keynote address that Kenya is currently at the forefront of pioneering initiatives with the development of Konza Technopolis, a technology city located about 70 kilometers south of Nairobi that embodies the principles of sustainability, innovation, and inclusion. “The first phase of Konza City is nearing completion, marking an important step forward in our commitment to building smarter and more resilient cities,” Kisiang’ani said.
He noted that Africa can develop smart cities by using data to contribute to evidence-based decision-making to create urban centers that respond to the needs of city dwellers.
Delyno du Toit, data science manager for the City of Cape Town in South Africa, said smart cities have the potential to improve the quality of life for residents while promoting economic growth and encouraging environmental sustainability. “From leveraging data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to optimize urban infrastructure and services to harnessing digital innovation to address pressing urban challenges, building smarter cities is both promising and imperative,” he said.
He added that smart cities in Africa will ensure that the continent combats climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
Judith Quarshie, head of library and documentation at Ghana’s Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development emphasized how African cities can leverage digital tools to become climate-resilient. He noted that African urban centers need to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar power or wind energy. Additionally investing in artificial intelligence systems could help minimize energy usage through optimizing resource allocation based on real-time demand patterns. These investments are essential for creating sustainable urban environments for future generations.
As we look towards a future where urbanization continues at a rapid pace across Africa it becomes increasingly important for these growing centers not only be sustainable but also embrace technological advancements which will enable them not just survive but thrive through these times ahead (source).