Cities are engines for economic growth, and particularly for the African continent that has experienced the highest urban growth during the last two decades at 3.5% per year and this rate of growth is expected to hold into 2050.
It is anticipated that the share of the African urban population, which was at about 36% in 2010, will increase to 50% and 60% by 2030 and 2050 respectively.
“With the growing need for urban management, there’s an increasing necessity for intelligent planning of cities to make informed decisions about the correct choice of infrastructure and supporting technology,” says Dr. Hamadoun Toure, the Executive Director for Smart Africa.
Smart Africa brings together African governments, the private sector and international organizations to promote and ensure affordable access to broadband and ICTs in general, ushering Africa into the knowledge economy.
Smart Africa organizes Transform Africa Summit. This year’s summit, taking place in Kigali from May 10 to 12th, will be a highly interactive conference and exhibition that will showcase homegrown, cutting-edge technologies, real-world solutions and proven strategies government leaders need to build more livable, workable, sustainable cities.
It will explore how Smart Cities can respond to a growing number of challenges and issues related to water management, energy management, mobility & transport, housing and building, health, education, sustainable environments and public safety.
Participants will have an opportunity to debate and experience the next wave of innovative, integrated technologies that are already helping cities around the world become more compassionate, connected, responsive and sustainable.
The summit features the unveiling of key action documents: the Africa Smart City Blueprint outlining the plan achieving the Smart Africa goal and the Africa Smart Women and Girl initiative which will be presented by the First ladies of Africa highlighting the crucial role Women and Girls play in African’s digital transformation agenda.
The Summit, which will be attended by over 3000 people who will include, 20 heads of state 300 mayors from around the world, hundreds of business executives, experts and policy makers will focus on how smart cities’ innovations can, and will deliver Africa’s socio-economic transformation and real business revenue.
“Africa’s time is now,” says Dr. Toure. “As technology drives mobility and connectivity in urbanized societies, African cities continuously seek to establish new infrastructure and city systems that will enable transition, and position them as global leaders and next generation cities.”
In an exclusive video interview with Taarifa’s Chief Editor Magnus Mazimpaka, Dr. Toure discusses Smart Africa’s agenda and also explains how President Kagame, Chairman of the Smart Africa Board, is trying to push the rest of Africa to embrace ICTs as an enabler and handy tool for development and economic transformation on the continent.
Watch the interview below