NAIROBI | Xinhua | Technology experts on Monday met in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to promote the development of smart cities in Africa.
The conference on Data-Driven Cities was attended by more than 100 stakeholders composed of senior government officials, the private sector and academia from Africa to foster innovation and collaboration in the development of smart cities in the continent that deliver efficient services to its residents.
Edward Kisiang’ani, the principal secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, said in his opening remarks that Kenya is currently at the forefront of pioneering initiatives with the development of Konza Technopolis, a technology city located about 70 km south of Nairobi that embodies the principles of sustainability, innovation, and inclusivity.
“The first phase of Konza City is nearing completion, marking a significant step forward in our commitment to building smarter, more resilient cities,” Kisiang’ani noted.
He observed that Africa can develop smart cities through the use of data to contribute to evidence-based decision-making to deliver urban centers that are responsive to the needs of urban dwellers.
Delyno du Toit, the manager of data science at the city of Cape Town in South Africa, said that smart cities have the potential to enhance the quality of life for residents, thereby promoting economic growth, and fostering environmental sustainability.
“From leveraging data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to optimize urban infrastructure and services, to harnessing the power of digital innovation to address pressing urban challenges, the journey towards 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, said that African cities can leverage digital tools to become climate resilient.
She noted that African urban centers need to invest in renewable energy, artificial intelligence, robotics as well as smart public transport systems. ■
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