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Africa’s smart cities

Published on 02 August 2018

For Africa, the future lies in connected, intelligent cities

In Africa, the cities of tomorrow are being invented today. District 2.0, CyberCity, Technology City – whatever their names, the agglomerations of the future are going to be both connected and innovative, and there will be no going back. Take Morocco, for instance. It is predicted that by 2050, 70% of its population will live in a city, with Casablanca, its most populated agglomeration, set to house 5 million people (1.65 million more than today). To adapt to this rapid growth, the country has launched several projects that will turn the metropolis into a smart city, spring-boarding it onto the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ list of 25 intelligent cities (the first one in Africa to make the list).

One of its first endeavors has been to install video surveillance, with a system of 760 cameras connected by 220 km of fibre optic cables . Suez Morocco has also developed software that monitors urban cleanliness in real time and allows users to flag areas that require cleaning, while property developer MedZ has created Casanearshore Park, the largest offshoring project in North Africa (53 hectares), with connected services, and solutions for business, transport, energy efficiency and environmental issues. 

Broadband and ecology go hand in hand

Elsewhere in Africa, cities are busy preparing for the future too, with several large projects transforming the urban landscape. While Ghana’s project to build 6 futuristic towers (Hope City) in the Grand Accra region is yet to happen, Konza Technology City in Kenya (64 km from Nairobi) is an enormous 2000-hectare technology hub that will be built with state-of-the-art environmental protection equipment, including solar energy, automatic taps that avoid waste, and CO2 regulation systems. Ninety percent of the construction will be financed by private funds (400 million dollars), creating 200,000 jobs.

And in Mauritius, the Ebene CyberCity is a 12-storey tower equipped with satellite access and fibre optic cabling connected to the SAFE submarine cable that links Europe to Malaysia, ensuring that on-site businesses have access to uninterrupted broadband 24/7—an important detail when you’re doing business on the continent.