AFRICA: Rabat, Tunis and Cairo among the world’s best smart cities

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AFRICA: Rabat, Tunis and Cairo among the world's best smart cities©World Bank

While the cities of Zurich in Switzerland, Oslo in Norway and Canberra in Australia are ranked as the best smart cities in the world by the 2023 report of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, five African capitals such as Tunis in Tunisia are also honored for their prowess in the digitalization of services in the face of climate change.

Cairo in Egypt, Algiers in Algeria, Cape Town in South Africa, Rabat in Morocco, Tunis in Tunisia. These five African metropolises are included in the ranking of the best smart cities in the world recently drawn up by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland. In its “Smart City Index Report” 2023, the IMD assessed the extent to which municipalities have taken into account new technological advances.

These include artificial intelligence for the promotion of telemedicine, e-mobility and the digital economy. These criteria combining green transition and digital connectivity disqualified other cities like Nairobi in Kenya, which nevertheless ranked 109th in 2020. “At least 20,000 citizens were asked about life in their cities regarding the priorities they consider most urgent in this case sustainable housing and traffic congestion, in addition to job creation and green spaces through information technology and communication (ICT), “says IMD.

Read also-SOUTH AFRICA: Johannesburg to host Smart Cities Summit in June 2022

If Algiers (123rd) and Cape Town (125th) are ahead of Bogotá (129th) in Colombia and Sao Paulo (130th) in Brazil, it is because of the multiplication of green start-ups and their support by local authorities in recent years with the main objective of strengthening the climate resilience of populations in urban areas. This is also the case of Rabat, which has become over time a key player in events on the smart city in Africa. Moreover, start-ups and urban planning specialists from the Moroccan capital will participate in the African Cities Lab forum to be held in Cotonou, Benin, on 23 and 24 May 2023.

Other cities such as Abidjan in Ivory Coast, Dakar in Senegal and Oranjemund in Namibia have begun their digital transformation to accelerate the implementation of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the technical support of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa). In June 2022, the organization published the ranking of 60 sustainable cities in partnership with the Ontario, Canada-based CitiIQ. Among them are Tripoli in Libya, Nouakchott in Mauritania, Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Accra in Ghana, Lome in Togo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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