Growing urban demographics and the rapid expansion of cities are driving the use of smart city solutions in Africa and the Middle East.
Research & Markets note that smart city initiatives across these regions typically focus on four areas: mobility, security, sustainability, and public services. The focus of smart city projects varies from one city to another across the region, based on the set of challenges and opportunities each city presents.
Countries in the Middle East are more engaged in projects aimed at improving public services, security, and quality of life, while a number of countries in Africa are investing in developing mobility and smart utility solutions as well as closing the connectivity gap.
A number of countries in AME tend to design and build cities from scratch, making them smart by design (e.g., Lusail, Aljada, and Masdar). Telecom operators in the region design smart city blueprints (e.g., strategies, concepts, guidelines, major features, stakeholders, business models and location, etc.) for new cities. This approach allows telcos to leverage conceptual, methodological, and operational knowledge of the smart city in order to offer smart city products, secure partnerships, and bring long-term revenue growth.
Connectivity in parts of the region poses challenges to smart city project development. Underdeveloped ICT infrastructure in a number of African countries undermines the implementation of smart city projects. As a result, the focus of smart city initiatives in the region is aimed at fast developing and expanding fixed and mobile communication networks.