According to Smart Sustainable Cities: A Blueprint for Africa report, urbanization is projected to reach 60% in 2050. In the next 10 years, many African cities like Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dar-Es-Salaam, Khartoum and others will reach the 10 million person threshold. Therefore, there is a need for better urban management because as per the report over 60 percent of people live in informal settlements. Therefore, these smart cities can provide a great solution to such problems.
Problems in African cities
Many African cities have not yet adapt well to the massive increase of urbanization as other cities across the globe. As the problem might be housing.
There is also an uncontrolled number of people living in poor conditions in African cities. Africa weak infrastructures affect mainly the poor people. The common difficulties faced by them are:
- poor utility management, lack of water and electricity, high costs etc
- poor access to sanitation facilities which affects both urban and rural Africans. Only a third of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has access to proper sanitation
- poor management of traffic congestions that leads to massive daily losses of productivity
- problems and difficulty in fighting crime and disease, especially in underdeveloped urban areas where poverty levels are higher
Developing smart cities in Africa have the capabilities of solving all these problems.
Smart Cities in Africa and its advantages
Smart cities mission is to collect data efficiently to build a good smart city. That is, a smart city is built with a proper DNA. It also has a goal to create smart infrastructures to provide a safe and efficient services to its residents.
A case in point, Cape Town partnered with network providers to acquire data from sensors placed around the city. This data helps the city to run more effectively in various ways such as from controlling traffic to waste management crime and fire response.
Furthermore, some countries are employing another route toward smart cities by proposing satellite cities, that is new urban areas built in areas near pre-existing cities. Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and other countries all are working hard for this project. The satellite cities will provide modern infrastructures also luxury amenities to attract tech-savvy entrepreneurs.
According to the site Edition.cnn.com, by 2020, Africa is likely to be the fastest urbanizing continent in the world.
Smart, Safe and Sustainable
As many cities in the developed world have to maintain outdated infrastructure, African cities can establish an updated services and facilities from the ground up. Therefore, even though smart cities in Africa are still in their infancy, they have an advantage.
As African economies begins to grow, these intelligent cities will have the ability to make more sustainable use of resources, respond better to crisis and can be a pioneer in the field of technology.
To conclude, establishing smart cities in Africa will not fix the problems of urbanization overnight, but they are definitely providing a solution to attack poverty for a better living conditions. Also, the continent can compete with other cities across the globe in the global economy.