Smart cities are already under construction in several African countries. 60km outside Nairobi, the Kenyan government is building Konza Technological City, which is already being nicknamed “Silicon Savannah.” Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Rwanda also have plans for ambitious, technologically enhanced urban areas in the works.

The problem with these megacity projects is that they will probably not be affordable living areas for the majority of the population, and it is important to also consider how smaller-scale, localised upgrades to existing infrastructure could improve Africa’s rapidly expanding cities. Initiatives are being launched in a number of existing cities, including huge parking buildings that make use of lifts to solve parking space shortages, and the development of e-government services which allow citizens to complete many public processes online.

Smart city based innovations are clearly exciting for Africa as they can be deployed on large scales as well as smaller, localised ones. Going forward, it will be important to pour as many resources into smaller-scale solutions that will benefit larger portions of urban populations as into the larger, more glamorous projects.


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