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At least 30 African cities will be recognized as for rolling out smart solutions during the upcoming Africa Smart and Sustainable Cities Investment Summit set to take place in Kigali from September 6-8.

The summit that will bring together 1,000 participants aims at fostering public-private partnerships, showcase smart city solutions, and identify investment opportunities that can create thriving and sustainable African cities.

Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, Chief Curator at the summit told the media, on Tuesday August 8, that the conversions will look at solutions such as sustainable energy supply, affordable housing, construction technology and building materials, transportation and access to urban services, beating traffic and pollution and green building.

The solutions also include sustainable water resources management, waste reduction, reuse and recycle, e-Government, citizen participation, services, innovation and jobs of the future, disaster preparedness and resilience, smart urban agriculture and food systems, nature-based solutions among others.

With the fast urbanization of Africa, combined with the urgent threat of climate change, he said the need to use technology to meet the needs of its growing cities is more pressing than ever.

“We will rank, recognize and celebrate 30 best performing African cities with the most promising smart city solutions. We have to devise solutions as Africa will be inhabited by 2.4 billion people by 2050 while about 800 million people will be living in cities by 2030,” he said.

Kigali to showcase smart solutions

Pudence Rubingisa, Mayor of the City of Kigali said that the city has been implementing different smart city solutions to be showcased at the summit.

“We have smart city solutions such as an e-government service known as Irembo, internet and mobile penetration, transport of goods and people. We also developed smart street lighting where it is easy to detect those that can face issues so that we can fix them. There is also smart way of collecting and managing waste in households, household and rainwater management,” he said.

Rubingisia made the case for public private partnership.

“We want to work with more private investors to scale up what was in pilot such was smart waste collection to secondary cities,” he noted.

Kigali City has Tap and Go cashless bus fare payment system to ease city public transport, smart metres for taxi-motos and taxi-cabs and charging stations for electric vehicles that will also be exhibited at the summit.

The city plans to pilot the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as a way of reducing traffic congestion on the road from the city centre to Kigali International Airport.

Other adopted smart solutions include blood delivery by drones, digital health care system for patients to access doctors through their mobile devices, electronic land title system, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system, Building Permit Management System.

The city will also showcase the car-free zone initiative, Kigali Innovation City, ICT research hubs, e-commerce platforms, security management systems, smart classrooms in education among others.

Yves Iradukunda, the Permanent Secretary of Rwanda's Ministry of ICT and Innovation said: “Partnerships with the private sector and civil society will be key as we leverage technology and innovation to improve the quality of life for all Rwandans."

He added that Rwanda has also launched national Artificial Intelligence (AI) policy.

AI can boost productivity and improve service delivery across all sectors of the economy, with an estimated $589 million potential for Rwanda.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Michel Nkurunziza

Quelle/Source: The New Times, 09.08.2023

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