Smart city initiatives are gaining traction in Africa and the Middle East (AME) due to increasing rates of urbanization that has been placing pressure on city services. The urban population in the region has increased from over 20% in 1960 to about 45% by the end of 2015, according to the UN. The scarcity of resources and chaotic nature of rapidly expanding cities are also pushing the governments to implement smart solutions to ensure sustainability of various city services.
Smart city projects evolve around the following main verticals – transportation and mobility, security, environment/social sustainability and public services. The focus of smart city solutions significantly varies from one city to another in the region. For instance, African cities have been focusing on transportation and utilities. More affluent countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia are focused on improving the efficiency of public services as well as on other aspects of smart cities such as security.
Connectivity is significant to the implementation of smart city projects. Poor telecom infrastructure in many African countries hinders the implementation of smart cities. This translates into smart city initiatives having a heavy focus on developing fixed and mobile networks.
The smart city value chain has consisted of five levels with increasing levels of involvement and value-add: connectivity services, data management services, service provision platforms, integrated service solution and integrated smart city solutions. Telcos are typically active in the first level providing connectivity services for smart city solutions. The revenue opportunity can be significantly lower higher up the value chain.
The governments are the primary stakeholder in smart city projects, playing a key role in coordinating and extending funding. Without strong government backing and clear strategic plans, successfully implementing smart city initiatives would be extremely challenging.[related-posts]
The report “Smart Cities in Africa & the Middle East: Gaining traction as rates of urbanization increase”, provides an executive-level overview of the smart city market in Africa & the Middle East. It delivers deep qualitative insight into the smart city market, analyzing key trends and smart city projects being implemented in the region, and the main smart city value chain and ecosystem dynamics in the region.
It provides in-depth analysis of the following — Smart cities in the global context:A look at smart city context worldwide and analysis of the smart city value-chain and the role of telcos;- Situation of smart cities in Africa & the Middle East: An overview on the main city challenges in Africa & the Middle East and how this is driving smart city investments, and also an analysis of the telcos’ role within Africa & the Middle East smart cities’ projects;- Smart city case studies: This section details the business model and strategy of smart city projects from Africa & the Middle East’s select three countries.- Key findings and recommendations; The Insider concludes with a number of key findings and a set of recommendations for smart city stakeholders, including telecom service providers.
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