Smart Cities in Africa & the Middle East: Gaining traction as rates of urbanization increase

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. 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 Israeland 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 consist 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.

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.

Companies mentioned in this report:Zain, Ericsson, Phillips, Etisalat, du, IBM, Neotel, Cellcom, Bezeq, Huawei

Scope- Africa and the Middle East feature different levels of ICT infrastructure, which pose challenge in deployment of smart city solutions. Poor telecom infrastructure in many countries especially in Africa hurdles the development of smart city projects.- The objectives of smart city initiatives vary across AME region depending on economic and social conditions of a country. Most African countries such as Rwanda and South Africa are more focused on providing better quality of life through smart city initiates (e.g., transportation, electricity and water projects) while affluent Middle Eastern countries such as Israel and United Arab Emirates are using smart city solutions to improve efficiency of city services and enhance security measures.- Government plays the key role in leading the smart city projects as well as contributing funds for the initiatives in AME. Telcos are primarily engaged in providing connectivity through investments in 4G and fiber-optic networks.

Reasons to buy

- This Insider Report provides a comprehensive examination of the value chain and business models in the smart cities market in Africa & the Middle East to help executives fully understand market dynamics, determine what works and what doesn't, formulate effective product development plans and optimize resource allocation and return on investments.

- Three case studies illustrate the findings of the report, providing insight into particular situations in the smart cities market; this will help the reader understand both the challenges confronted in the real world and the strategies employed to overcome those challenges.

- The report discusses concrete opportunities in the smart cities market, providing a number of actionable recommendations for smart city market participants, including telecom service providers.

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Source: Report Buyer

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

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