Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 64 - Page 67

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REAPING THE BENEFITS OF SMART CITY TECHNOLOGY IN AFRICA

As Smart Cities emerge across the globe , there is a ‘ huge opportunity ’ in Africa to embrace and evolve towards this concept . This is the view of Mahmoud El-Banna , Head of Digital Industries Sales for China , India and MEA at Nokia . He talks us through some of the existing and new initiatives in the region , as well as how Nokia is at the forefront of such projects across the globe , including Africa .

The African continent is poised to leapfrog other continents when it comes to the adoption of Smart City technologies . The Smart City industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next couple of years , with International Data Corporation expecting spending on Smart Cities in the Middle East and Africa region to cross the US $ 4.4 billion mark in 2025 .

For years a lack of infrastructure has been cited as one of the continent ’ s biggest drawbacks . The lack of infrastructure , however , means that countries in Africa can implement smart technologies without incurring the cost of maintaining legacy infrastructure , paving the way for the emergence of Smart Cities at a rapid rate . According to Mahmoud El-Banna , Head of Digital Industries Sales for China , India and MEA at Nokia , there is a huge opportunity in Africa to evolve towards the Smart City concept .
“ Smart Cities are focused on three important pillars for country and community – smartness , safety and sustainability . The level of emphasis on each of the pillars differs between countries , depending on the needs and focus of that specific country ,” he said .
“ Smart Cities are developed to address sustainability and safety issues , which represent some of the most fundamental issues faced by the continent today . The enablement of safety specific use cases such as smart surveillance , video analytics , crowd control and central command and control platforms will directly address the safety pillar and provide safer lives for the citizens of African countries .”
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