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About this book

This book highlights the use of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures in order to develop smart cities and produce smart economies in Africa. It discusses a robust set of concepts, including smart planning, smart infrastructure development, smart economic development, smart environmental sustainability, smart social development, resilience, and smart peace and security in several African cities. By drawing on the accumulated knowledge on various conditions that make cities smart, green, livable and healthy, it helps in the planning, design and management of African urbanization. In turn, it fosters the development of e-commerce, e-education, e-governance, etc. The rapid development of ICT infrastructures facilitates the creation of smart economies in digitally served cities and towns through smart urban planning, smart infrastructures, smart land tenure and smart urban policies. In the long term, this can reduce emissions of CO2, promote the creation of low carbon cities, reduce land degradation and promote biodiversity.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Relevance of Smart Economy in Smart Cities in Africa

This chapter articulates the relevance of smart Economy in Smart Cities in the African context marked by rapid urbanization. A smart city is conceptualized as a sustainable, inclusive, resilient and prosperous city that promotes a people-centric approach based on three core components—Smart City Foundation, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Smart Institutions and Laws. These three core components are the pillars of the seven dimensions of a smart city: Infrastructure Development, Environmental Sustainability, Social Development, Social Inclusion, Disasters Prevention and Resilience, and Peace and Security. Infrastructure Development includes transport, industrial energy, education and health infrastructures, etc. Environment Sustainability is comprised of elements of energy, transport, building and pollution. Social Inclusion includes aspects of participation in decision making as well as according all city residents equal opportunities for growth and prosperity. Social Development encompasses elements of education, health, public space and social capital. Disaster Prevention and Resilience incorporates elements of mitigation and adaptation to various disasters such as flooding, droughts, storms and earthquakes. Peace and security covers all forms of violence and conflicts, including domestic violence, violence in public places, crime, armed conflicts, terrorism, etc. An insecure city limits opportunities for investment and economic growth and cannot be a smart city.
Gora Mboup, Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka

Chapter 2. African Cities in Time and Space: Past, Emerging Trends and Perspectives

This chapter presents the historical place of the urban setting that has shaped various social, economic and political transformations in Africa. It presents several examples of African cities that existed in the pre-colonial period. It also shows how the African urban space remarkably changes during the colonial period both quantitatively and qualitatively. Some pre-colonial African cities were overtaken by colonial cities along with a significant change in terms of urban planning and provision of basic infrastructure. After independence of African countries, urbanization has accelerated with the apparition of large cities, but with the influence of the colonial urban planning. Today over half a billion of African population live in urban areas. This African urban population is projected to reach 1 billion in 2040 and 1.5 billion in 2050.
Gora Mboup

Chapter 3. Africa’s Smart City Foundation: Urbanization, Urban Form and Structure, Land Tenure and Basic Infrastructures

Cities grow in population size as well as in land use. This chapter assesses the spatial growth of city and how populations are spatially distributed. It assesses the spatial growth of cities and how populations are spatially distributed in terms of density, compactness and land use (infill, extension, inclusion and leapfrogging). While the population of the city has been well researched and presented in the tradition of the UN Population Division to update the urban levels and trends and city growth in its yearly publication titled: World Urbanization Prospects, few studies provide sufficient accurate information on spatial growth of cities in different periods. Little was known on the spatial growth of cities until recently with the development and use of GIS technologies. The chapter will also analyse land tenure and the provision of basic infrastructures such as water, sanitation in African cities. It will also introduce the concept and measurement of a smart city foundation. A smart city is viewed as a sustainable, inclusive, resilient and prosperous city that promotes a people-centric approach based on three core components and seven dimensions. The three core components are Smart City Foundation, ICT, and Smart Institutions and Laws, which in turn are the pillars of the other dimensions of a smart city: Infrastructure Development, Environmental Sustainability, Social Development, Social Inclusion, Economic Development, Disasters Exposure, Resilience, Peace and Security. The three components together with the seven dimensions make a Smart Economy. A smart city foundation is composed of three elements: Urban Planning and Design, Land Policies and Basic Infrastructure. For a city foundation to be smart, it must be inclusive at the onset of the urban planning and promotes mixed neighbourhoods where social clustering is discouraged.
Gora Mboup

Chapter 4. Cities in the Context of Climate Change: Opportunities for Local Authorities in Climate Action in Africa

Achievement of global emission reduction targets under Paris Agreement could be greatly enhanced with the active engagement of cities. Cities are one of the major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions while providing habitation to more than half of the world’s population. The Convention provides avenues for cities to identify, implement, monitor, report and gain recognition for the actions undertaken. This chapter defines what climate smart cities means, evolution of cities as actors of climate actions, and highlights some of the mechanisms and opportunities available under the Convention for which African cities could avail themselves of, including co-benefits associated with the implementation of these climate actions.
William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, Kusum Lata, Vintura Silva

Chapter 5. Biodiversity for Smart Cities

The African continent is urbanizing at a rapid rate, and projected trends suggest that over 1.3 billion people will be living in urban areas by 2050. In most African countries, this means expansion of cities and increasing pressure on municipal governments to balance urban development needs with environmental sustainability. For cities located in the continent’s biodiversity hotpots, the urban expansion will occur at the expense of biodiversity and fragile ecosystems. Because of the potential for urbanization to drive economic growth and prosperity in Africa, it is essential that cities and municipalities embrace a paradigm of urban development that is smart and sustainable, and as a result contribute toward safeguarding biodiversity. Such a paradigm will embody two key priorities to integrate biodiversity: (a) African cities must tackle threats to biodiversity from urban sprawl, including habitat loss, overexploitation of species, and degradation of ecosystem services; and (b) cities must harness ecosystem services by integrating components of biodiversity as livelihood assets and “green infrastructure” to enhance sustainability and resilience in the city-scape. Drawing on examples from across the continent, this chapter discusses these two priorities as basis for Africa’s cities to integrate biodiversity conservation in their planning processes toward smart and sustainable growth. City and municipal governments must create appropriate institutional and governance frameworks to harness available data and information, promote integrated planning and management, and apply innovative tools and citizen participation for monitoring and assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The role and importance of ICT is highlighted as key to advancing a science-based approach to integrating biodiversity in smart cities, which will foster collaboration by experts across a range of disciplines such as landscape ecology, wildlife biology, animal behavior, and sociology.
Mohamed Imam Bakarr

Chapter 6. Wastes Management in African Cities

Wastes are considered as normal and inevitable output of production and consumption processes, but when they are poorly managed, they are potentially harmful to the environment, health and socioeconomic development. Waste management is indeed a major obstacle to sustainable development in most African cities due to various factors including high population growth, rapid urbanization, increasing economic activity, increasing need for consumer goods, and more importantly the lack of sustainable waste management strategies both at national and local levels, including lack of adequate policies. The combination of these factors creates significant amounts of waste whose management represents a major challenge for sustainable development of African cities. Sustainable solutions in waste management will require an integrated approach through a comprehensive urban planning system, use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), a strong and innovative financial mechanism, appropriate mechanisms for community participation and private sector involvement. This chapter focuses mainly on solid waste management in the context of African cities.
Ibrahima Sow

Chapter 7. Smart Energy for Smart Infrastructure Development

Energy forms part of our day to day life. Access to energy is required to support a number of social and economic activities including transportation, communication and production of goods. Without access to electricity, education and health services cannot operate optimally which may impact welfare and human capital development. Access to energy in Africa is lower that the world average with almost 70% of the population without access to electricity. In addition to lack of access, there is no guaranteed supply of electricity for those who have access which threatens economic growth. Access to energy in Africa has increased in recent decades, however, the electrification rate is lower than the population and urban growth. Africa is endowed with natural energy sources that remain untapped. Smart energy technologies provide opportunities to generate, transmit, distribute and use energy in a sustainable manner. This chapter reviews the status of smart energy development in Africa. Access to energy in Africa varies from country to country, with some countries like Egypt, Tunisia and South Africa having more than 80% of people with access to electricity while in other countries less than 10% of population have access to electricity. Implementation of smart energy systems relies on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Smart energy is the solution for Africa to increase access and improve reliability of the energy supply in the continent. This chapter also appraises the status of ICT infrastructure and highlights some of the case studies on smart energy systems aimed at energy efficiency and smart grid development.
Naledzani Mudau, Paida Mhangara

Chapter 8. Smart Urban Accessibility and Mobility for Smart Economy in Africa

Africa’s rapid urbanization provides opportunities for economies of scale and agglomeration, but it will also call for large investments in infrastructures to respond to the increased demand for urban accessibility. For cities to act as integrated labour markets and match jobs seekers and employers, they need to make employment spatially accessible to all residents. Economies of scale and agglomeration are, indeed, greater in cities where mobility infrastructures are able to respond accessibility needs with higher access to markets and resources than those where people’s mobility is impeded by deficient mobility infrastructures. Demand for accessibility and mobility depends first on how the cities are designed in terms of urban form and structure. Urban form and structure depend on how the cities are planned in terms of (mixed) land use, compactness, densities, and street planning and design among other factors.
Gora Mboup

Chapter 9. Air Quality in African Cities

Air pollution has become a major environmental issue in African cities during the last decade. Rapid urbanization, traffic congestion combined with old cars and low quality fuel, open-burning of waste and biomass, dust and sandstorms are the major sources of air pollution. These anthropogenic and natural sources are responsible for emissions of particulate matter (PM), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can affect human health. The comparative analysis of urban air pollution in Africa shows that very few cities measure air quality in Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa region, only South Africa and Senegal have setup continuous air quality monitoring system. Some other countries such as Nigeria and Ghana conducted air quality monitoring programs in 2011 and 2004 respectively. In the 2016 WHO urban air pollution database, 41 cities of 12 sub-Saharan African countries reported their data. The analysis shows that all these cities exceed the WHO guidelines for PM10 and PM2.5 annual concentrations. A case study for Dakar (Senegal) presents the distribution of the air quality measurement network around the city, the monitored pollutants and the Air Quality Index (AQI) that daily informs people and decision markers about the air quality. The AQI is unhealthy (orange) to very unhealthy (red) during the dry season (mid-November to April). During the rainy season (June to October), the AQI is good (green) to moderate (yellow). Air pollution in Dakar is mainly due to particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). Annual mean of these PM exceeded WHO guidelines from 2010 to 2017. To tackle air pollution, regulations and measures are taken by Senegalese authorities to reduce emission from transport, industries and energy. For the transport sector, renewal of old cars and promoting of mass transport are the major projects. For other sources (industry, waste and energy), environmental law provides for preventive measures and energy efficiency programs are on-going.
Aminata Mbow-Diokhane

Chapter 10. Smart Disaster Prevention and Resilience in Africa

Disaster is a sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life. Disaster risk management is a very crucial ingredient for the social and infrastructural development which involves taking prevention and control measures and building resilience of cities and its citizens. Metropolitan cities are confronted with an array of disaster challenges such as flooding, ocean surge and building collapse. Disaster management is often on the concurrent list of most African countries, so, both the national and sub-national governments are involved. This chapter therefore examines the nature of disaster in selected African cities while focusing on the extent to which Lagos metropolis has adopted smart strategies and initiatives especially information and communication technology to address the issues of disaster prevention and resilience. It concludes that greater adoption of ICT, public education and awareness and engagement constitute imperatives for more effective disaster resilience and prevention in Lagos and other African cities.
Femi Olokesusi, Femi Ola Aiyegbajeje

Chapter 11. Smart Peace and Security in Africa

The importance of considering Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) in the study of conflict formation and escalation has been widely recognized and researched. This is despite a widespread conviction that ICTs bears similar potential to contribute to peacebuilding and security. This chapter therefore seeks to explore the nature of conflicts in Africa cities and urban areas and thereafter seek to build a framework for understanding the possible way of linking digital platform with attainment of peace and security in African cities. The chapter’s discussions is reliant on analysis of various literature focusing on the major areas of practical and theoretical relevance initiatives that address smart peace and security globally and in Africa.
Romanus Otieno Opiyo

Chapter 12. Smart and Open Urban Governance in Africa

The broad notion of ‘Smart Cities’ in Africa is emerging amidst significant socio-political transitions in populations, economy, and technology. Local governments across the continent are being asked to contend with limited resources and an increase in demands for service and accountability. Advances in information communication and digital technology, if contextually appropriate, can be harnessed to support collaboration amongst governance stakeholders. However, for technology to be an asset it must be a facilitator of good governance rather than an end to itself. This chapter presents a conceptual framework for Smart and Open Urban Governance in Africa and explores themes of transparency, public participation, and accountability.
Merlin Chatwin, Godwin Arku

Chapter 13. Smart Social Development Key for Smart African Cities

This chapter focuses on the Social Development dimensions of smart cities, composed of elements of health and education. Healthy workers are more productive, and bring greater income to families and higher levels of economic growth for nations, and, in turn, enhance smart economy. First the chapter focuses on health considering that a healthy population is critical to realizing any social and economic development. Then the chapter concentrates on Education, which is critical to meeting the challenges of smart city, as it connects people to new approaches, solutions and technologies that enable them to identify, clarify and tackle local and global problems. When education and health are combined, undoubtedly they contribute significantly to human development. In both these critical dimensions, African cities have made significant progress during these past twenty years, and continue to do so as we progress through the 21st century.
Priscilla Idele, Gora Mboup

Chapter 14. Smart Urban Economy in Africa

Studies have shown that the association between the level of urbanization and GDP per capita is positive. Countries with higher GDP growth experienced faster urbanization, and rapid urbanization came hand-in hand with higher growth in industries and services. This is primarily because urbanization and structural transformation are two processes going hand in hand and mutually reinforcing each other. Urbanization is a powerful force for transformation as it enables agglomeration that facilitates industrial productions and economies of scale. This chapter aims at investigating the urban opportunities in traditional pattern of growth with the urbanization process in Africa. It then highlights the flip side of rapid urbanization and how national economies might miss out to gain from the urban advantage. It also examines the phenomenon of ‘consumption cities’ and absence of industrialization in urban centres. Finally, the chapter provides recommendation to seize the urban advantage in Africa in order to achieve liveable Smart Cities that undergo inclusive sustainable economic growth and development.
Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Gora Mboup

Chapter 15. Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Levels, Trends and Perspectives

The ICTs revolution has caused profound upheavals in various aspects around the world including Africa. Whatever form they take, ICT-induced changes may have significant implications not only in the sector itself but also in all development sectors. The changes in the ICT sector in Africa are part of an international dynamic resulting from the combination of liberalization policies, incredible technological advances and strong consumer demand. This chapter presents the levels, trends and perspectives of Information and Communication Technologies in the African region. This chapter proceeds first with a literature review on regulatory policies in order to understand their ripple effects. After presenting a general history of ICTs, it analyses the evolving factors of internet connection in Sub-Saharan Africa. It also presents the internet perspectives and regulation in Africa including technologies trends as well as key technologies. It also assesses and proposes types of technologies for internet connection in Africa. It concludes with perspectives for sustainable trends of ICT in Africa.
Komlan Franck Godefroy Beda


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