Smart Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and Challenges

Smart Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and Challenges

Innocent Chirisa (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe) and Abraham Rajab Matamanda (University of the Free State, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7625-9.ch005

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to interrogate and diagnose the concept of smart cities as it has been applied to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in a bid to decrypt the opportunities and challenges characterizing its manifestation in space and actuality. The chapter is a product of the critical engagement of scholarly work that compares the best practices in the development and promotion of the smart city concept against those practices that are antithetical and retrogressive in light of this good cause. To crystallize the realities, the chapter makes use of case studies that speak to these contrasting experiences. Case studies in SSA reveal differential practices with South Africa emerging as a country doing very well relative to others in the region. Some cities, especially the small and intermediate ones, fail to break even in terms of the revenue collections. This is partly because they have failed to attract investment in the form of industries or retain them because of politically induced instabilities.
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Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework guiding his study is explained in this section. In this regard, the section first outlines the concept of a smart city which is then followed by a discussion of SSA.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Smart City: A city which bears the traits of smartness that is smart infrastructure (hard and soft) smart governances.

Sub-Saharan Africa: A continent with 54 countries which are largely characterized as developing countries.

Innovation: The process of bringing in new ideas and methods of increasing the functionality of cities and towns. More of a divergent from the traditional way of doing things and running the city.

Equipmentation: A process through which a city is capacitated with requisite equipment, usually ICT infrastructure which may be critical in promoting the establishment of a smart city.

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