• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Here are Africa’s 9 smartest cities in 2024

Here are Africa’s 9 smartest cities in 2024

A smart city is an urban environment that utilizes technology to amplify the advantages and mitigate the challenges of urbanization for its residents.

Most Smart City Index (SCI) leaders maintained their positions, except for Taipei City, which entered the top 20 for the first time. The absence of North American cities in the top 20 is notable.

US cities like Washington DC, Denver, and Los Angeles have notably declined in rankings, as have Canadian cities like Ottawa and Montreal.

Key concerns in North American cities include deteriorating infrastructure and safety. Meanwhile, European cities are seeing improvements in overall quality of life.

Read also: Improved traffic management: A case for a smart city

Bruno Lanvin president of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD)Smart Observatory said, “To make tomorrow’s cities green, and digital, and human-centric we need to give more attention to talent strategies, education, and openness across trade, investment, and exchange of experiences. In that context, combining inclusion and digitalization will remain a challenge for all kinds of cities”

The IMD Smart City Index 2024 evaluates 142 cities worldwide based on resident perceptions of city structures and technology applications. Perceptions from the last three years are weighted 3:2:1 for 2024, 2023, and 2021 respectively.

The assessment covers two pillars: Structures, assessing existing infrastructure, and Technology, describing technological provisions. Each pillar is evaluated across five key areas: health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance.

Read also: Empowering Africa: Harnessing technology for sustainable development and inclusive growth

Cities are categorized into four groups based on their Human Development Index (HDI) score, with corresponding rating scales. Rankings are presented as both an overall ranking from 1 to 142 and individual ratings for each pillar and overall performance.

According to the IMD 2024 Smart City Index, here are Africa’s 9 smartest cities in 2024

1. Cairo, Egypt — Global Rank: 114th, Rating: C

Cairo, with a HDI of 0.779, stands out as a hub of innovation in the region. Fostering a burgeoning startup ecosystem and spearheading initiatives for digital transformation, the city is making significant strides in various sectors including public transportation, recycling, and inclusiveness.

2. Algiers, Algeria — Global Rank: 124th, Rating: C

With an HDI of 0.767, Algiers is actively striving to transform into a smart city. By digitizing government services, enhancing infrastructure, and promoting sustainability, Algiers is positioning itself as a notable player in the smart city landscape.

3. Rabat, Morocco — Global Rank: 126th, Rating: C

With an HDI of 0.702, Rabat is embracing smart technologies to bolster urban mobility, environmental sustainability, and citizen engagement. Initiatives like smart transportation systems and digital platforms for learning and business opportunities are propelling Rabat’s journey towards becoming a smart city.

Read also: Gas shortage casts doubt on $25bn Nigeria-Morocco pipeline

4. Cape Town, South Africa — Global Rank: 129th, Rating: D

Despite its lower ranking on the index, Cape Town, with an HDI of 0.751, is actively pursuing smart initiatives. Challenges such as security, unemployment, and infrastructure gaps persist, yet Cape Town’s focus on renewable energy and digital inclusion demonstrates promising strides toward its smart city goals.

5. Nairobi, Kenya — Global Rank: 131st, Rating: C

Nairobi, Kenya’s bustling capital, is leveraging technology to address urban challenges and drive economic growth. With a thriving tech startup scene and initiatives like smart grid systems and digital healthcare platforms, Nairobi is positioning itself as a leading smart city in East Africa.

6. Abuja, Nigeria — Global Rank: 135th, Rating: D

With an HDI of 0.646, Abuja faces the dual challenge of rapid urbanization and the imperative for smart development. Despite ongoing efforts to enhance infrastructure and digital connectivity, the city contends with issues like security, affordable housing, and insufficient public services.

Read also: Wike woos Indian investors to Abuja

7. Lagos, Nigeria — Global Rank: 136th, Rating: D

Lagos, Nigeria’s economic powerhouse, has an HDI of 0.681. It stands as a city of contrasts, where technological innovation flourishes alongside infrastructure challenges. Despite its lower ranking on the smart city index, Lagos is committed to investing in initiatives such as smart transportation and digital entrepreneurship to navigate its urban complexities.

8. Tunis, Tunisia — Global Rank: 137th, Rating: D

With an HDI of 0.775, Tunis is actively embracing smart solutions to improve urban living and foster economic prosperity. From digital governance platforms to smart energy management systems, the city is steadily progressing on its smart city journey.

9. Accra — Global Rank: 138th, Rating: D

With an HDI of 0.707, Accra is becoming a key hub for smart city initiatives in West Africa. Despite struggling with challenges like inadequate infrastructure, basic amenities, health and safety structures, and waste management issues, the city is actively investing in projects such as smart grids and e-governance to enhance urban living conditions.