CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Laurent Lamothe took part in Angotic, Angola's most reputable innovation forum. Lamothe, known as Haiti's most successful and longest-serving Prime Minister, participated as a panellist sharing his expertise in using innovative finance and private sector innovation as the "key" driving force for the development of smart cities in Africa.
Participating in four panel discussions over three days, the panellists discussed important efforts needed in regard to digital transformation in Africa, and how governments need to understand that concept of citizen participation. The forum also exposed the idea of smart cities being the key to change to developing nations. Lamothe believes that it requires public and private participation to fast track smart city development. Also, governments in Africa must consider innovative financing mechanisms to be able to finance the development of smart cities.
According to projections, nearly 70% of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050. While some megacities are already struggling to cope with the current inflow of people, it is important to create smart cities in order to make these urban areas more liveable and truly sustainable.
"It's the era of 'Uberisation' of economies. Meaning, economies are becoming ones of service to its citizens. Undoubtedly a country's economy is interconnected, and it is important for governments to understand this, and be part of the change," says Lamothe.
There is a big opportunity in Africa, one where the leap-frogging capacity is possible, as the ingredients are there. But it is the implementation and financing that is always the Achilles heel of most governments. The policies, infrastructure, technology may be there, but it is the funding of Smart Cities that is a critical challenge. However, a government alone cannot achieve the development of Smart Cities. It has to be government-led in terms of creating the correct policy framework and then leveraging private sector innovation.
Additionally, governments must consider financing development one penny at a time. Emerging countries have very little means to finance their development, and innovative finance for development provides many opportunities. Innovative financing refers to a range of non-traditional mechanisms to raise additional funds for development utilizing "innovative" projects such as micro-contributions, taxes, public-private partnerships and market-based financial transactions. Thus, governments are able to leverage millions of transactions, apply a micro-levy onto those transactions and bring in millions of additional dollars for development.
With the support of innovative financing and leveraging private sector innovation, governments in Africa will be able to combine infrastructure, sustainability, connectivity, mobility, energy and communication into one platform, which is a single integrated approach to developing smart cities.
"Africa should look to the front runners like Estonia, Singapore, Lebanon and São Paulo in Brazil, as these can provide valuable lessons as to what is possible," concludes Lamothe.
According to research, an estimated 2.33 bn connected things were installed within smart cities globally in 2017. Additionally, it was estimated that a 23% annual growth in the size of the smart infrastructure market, the largest segment of smart city solutions, would take place between 2016 and 2020.
For more information about Angotic visit www.angotic.gov.ao.
For more information visit www.lslwi.com or listen to Laurent Lamothe on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wf3VWXSLzI&list=PL97hEg9PMrHAxodvyBwjzUI32aQ32GnTP.
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SOURCE Angotic; LSL World Initiative