from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – THE progress in smart city development highlights the immense potential for African cities to become global leaders in urban innovation.
This is according to an industry executive following the inclusion of Algiers (Algeria), Cairo (Egypt), Cape Town (South Africa), Rabat (Morocco) and the Tunisian capital, Tunis, in the 2023 edition of the IMD Smart City Index.
“They’re putting Africa on the global map of smart city innovation,” said Marcel Bruyns, Sales Manager for Africa at Axis Communications.
The IMD Smart City Index ranks 141 smart cities according to economic, technological and humane dimensions, such as quality of life, the physical environment, and overall inclusiveness.
It uses a combination of hard data and survey responses to gauge how people experience cities around the world.
“Amid all the headlines about weakening currencies, rising inflation and political instability, it’s easy to get caught up in the negatives, but there’s a lot to celebrate on our continent,” Bruyns said.
“As we come to the end of Africa Month in May and we approach the African Smart Cities Summit in June, it’s a great time to recognise the remarkable advancements in Africa’s top-performing smart cities.”
With the help of expert service providers, Bruyns imagined where today’s cities could be in the years to come.
“The future holds endless possibilities for African cities as they continue to embrace smart technologies and create sustainable, efficient and inclusive urban environments,” he said.
Cairo is the highest-ranked smart city in the abovementioned index, at 108. Algiers sits at 123, followed by Cape Town at 125.
Rabat sits at 126 and Tunis is ranked 137th.
“African capitals are making their mark on the global stage, showcasing the continent’s progress and prowess in building smart cities,” Bruyns said.
He noted the five cities were leading the way with their innovative approaches to urban development and efficient use of technology.
“By leveraging the expertise of service providers and fostering collaboration, African cities can continue their transformative journeys and redefine what is possible in the realm of urban living,” Bruyns stated.
– CAJ News