Cape Town is leading by example when it comes to investment in smart cities

29 August 2019 2 min. read
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Business leaders and market watchers are set to gather in Cape Town at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019 in September this year, with the objective of identifying the direction that digital engagement across Africa is set to take in the near future. Gartner predicts three major trends in this domain.

According to the global research and advisory firm, there are three technological domains that are likely to take precedence across the African market over the next decade, namely smart city infrastructure, Internet of Things (IoT), and low orbit satellite systems. The three stand out from 24 technological domains that Gartner has outlined for global businesses.

Technology in the smart city, IoT and satellite systems domains are particularly relevant in the African context, given the current deficit in infrastructure across the continent. Several experts have indicated the need for infrastructure investment in Africa, which currently suffers from a gap of more than $100 billion.

Investors from within the continent and across the globe are now looking to gradually fill this deficit, and are likely to use the opportunity to develop state of the art innovative urban solutions. Overall trends of urbanisation across the continent are likely to contribute to this scenario.

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019, Cape Town

“Smart city frameworks will have a transformational business impact in the next two to five years as cities in Africa apply diverse strategies to accelerate the development of smart city frameworks based on traffic, social and safety issues,” explained Bettina Traztz-Ryan, Research Vice President at Gartner.

“In many countries, citizens are moving from rural areas into cities, and urbanisation strategies are key to supporting the increasing infrastructure needs, and to aid the urbanisation growth both on a demographic and business level,” she added.

Cape Town – which will host a congregation of analysts to discuss these scenarios – is among the best cities in South Africa, and has proved itself to be among most advanced cities in Africa in technological investments. The city has registered significant investments in the wireless communications domain, which appears to serve a dual purpose for the city.

On the one hand, investing in technology has enabled enhancements in various functions across the city. Meanwhile, investment in infrastructure development leads to substantial job creation and facilitates entrepreneurship, both of which are particularly essential in the South African context going forth.