Questions you should ask when planning your next Smart City event in Africa

by Andy Kozlov, consultant on smart cities in Africa

The better the question the more adequate solutions your African Smart City events will offer at the end of the day.

For each topic, I suggest you ask yourselves lots of questions. And then try hard to answer them. Or try to have your potential speakers answer them during the event.

Each time you speak to your key partners, encourage them to suggest those crucial questions that everyone wants to hear answers to when they think about a smart African city.

At the latest National Urban Forum in Antananarivo, Madagascar as he was shown how Tokyo’s city planners use 3D modelling to revive dying city centres and how Morocco tracks the progress of their Villes sans Bidonvilles programme with the help of satellite imaging, one Malagasy mayor wondered, “How do you count the number of toilets in France?” “My city does not have a road and can’t be accessed by cars. How should we create infrastructure here?”, inquired another colleague of his.

Here I suggest some more questions:

ENERGY

How chronic are electricity shortages in Kinshasa? Available solutions deployed to tackle this issue?

How under-resourced are state-owned energy utilities in Namibia? Available solutions deployed to tackle this issue?

What is the % of privately-owned energy utilities across Madagascar?

What is to be prioritized: deployment of tech available incountry (including via Ethiopian offices of multinationals) or import of tech, Or R&D?

What are the top 10 most urgent laws/directives that need to be passed?

 

MOBILITY

How many hours per year do Harare commuters lose to traffic congestion? Available solutions deployed to tackle this issue? E.g. in Lagos commuters collectively lost three billion hours per year to traffic congestion from 2007 to 2009.

What does Mombasa need to do to develop bus-oriented transport infrastructure with dedicated lanes? Available solutions deployed to tackle this issue?

What is the % of environmentally friendly mass-transit vehicles in Maputo?

What is to be prioritized: deployment of tech available incountry (including via Ivorian offices of multinationals) or import of tech, Or R&D?

What are the top 10 most urgent laws/directives that need to be passed?

 

CONSTRUCTION

How huge is the backlog in the collection of solid waste in Abidjan, by commune? Available solutions deployed to tackle this issue?

How much urban environment do we expect to be built in Durban in the next 10 years, by area, by cement amounts, by solar panel on rooftops?

How defined are boundaries in Bujumbura?

What is the state of municipal asset inventories, land-tenure systems?

What is to be prioritized: deployment of tech available incountry (including via South Sudanese offices of multinationals) or import of tech, Or R&D?

What are the top 10 most urgent laws/directives that need to be passed?

 

CITIZENS EMPOWERED

What type of jobs do we need to create for local unemployed people to fill in?

How independent are local authorities in Mauritius from national government (including in subsidy terms)?

What is to be prioritized: deployment of tech available incountry (including via Tunisian offices of multinationals) or import of tech, Or R&D?

What are the top 10 most urgent laws/directives that need to be passed?

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