AFRICA SMART CITIES INITIATIVE
The Africa Islamic Economic Foundation has launched an innovative initiative, the AFRICA SMART CITIES INITIATIVE in response to Africa’s rapid and largely unregulated urbanization, and the resulting urgent need to deal with the sustainability issues faced by its rapidly growing cities and rural communities.
The Initiative represents a new approach to urban and rural development in Africa, dealing with the most urgent challenges of African cities and rural communities. It employs an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to support its partners in developing pilot smart cities and communities and action plans that address three dimensions of sustainability: environmental sustainability and climate change, urban sustainability, and fiscal sustainability and governance.
A central part of the Initiative is the development of smart city profiles based on a set of development indicators. The profiles contain specific policy recommendations for smartening the cities as well as measuring results of smart city initiatives in pilot cities and developing smart product packages suitable for cities on certain characteristics/development level.
It creates synergies among players operating in the Smart City market, namely, Governments (national and municipal), Utilities, Industries and Clusters, Academic and Research Institutions, Investors and Entrepreneurs, Commercial and Investment banks, Multilateral and Bilateral financial institutions to accelerate the roll out of viable Smart cities and Communities, integrating green and smart technologies across Africa.
The overall goal of the initiative is to create the right urban and community ecosystem in Africa, which improves quality of life, fosters innovation, facilitates provision of smart and sustainable civic services, and creates a holistic ecosystem of people who are interconnected and contributing towards a common vision, creation of knowledge and exchange of ideas.
Within that goal, the objectives of the Initiative are:
- To generate and scale ideas and solutions through events (conferences, round tables, road shows, workshops and seminars), research and Smart City and Community projects in Africa.
- To promote sustainable urban and rural community development in Africa through analysis of practices and policies, pilot activities, exchange of experiences and best practices, networking and capacity building.
- To foster excellence in housing policy and housing finance education, research, and technical advisory service, with a specific focus on African countries.
- To promote and encourage African academic and research institutions, entrepreneurs and companies to engage in the research and development of Smart City and Communities projects.
- To develop infrastructure platforms and common architectures for smart city and community information.
- To actively participate in international forums on smart cities and Communities standardisation and normalisation, and contribute to the elimination of legislation barriers to the development and implementation of smart cities projects in Africa.
- To evaluate the impact of Smart City and Community projects on wealth creation, jobs generation, environment quality and citizens’ quality of life, using specific metrics and key performance indicators.