Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business

Kenya

Why Nairobi is ranked the ‘smartest city’ in Africa

NAIROBI-IHL-AERIAL

Nairobi is the most intelligent city in Africa according to a report released by The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). Nairobi has been listed among the 21 most intelligent cities for a second year in a row and the only African city to make the cut. However, Nairobi missed out on the top 7 position, losing out to three cities in the US, New Taipei City, Rio de Janeiro, Ipswich in Australia and Surrey in Canada.

Communities around the world nominate cities that have the greatest capacity to create opportunities and prosper in the broadband economy.  According to the New-York based think tank and CNN, 5 factors make Nairobi an intelligent city:

1. Mobile Money Economy

Nairobi is the biggest city with the most subscribers of mobile money and has nearly 70 percent mobile phone penetration. The mobile money ecosystem has created related enterprises and products. The report gives an example of M-Shwari savings product which has a customer base of 7 million and facilitated $14 million in loans in the last two years after launch. ICF credits the growth of the mobile money economy to the liberalization of communications sector towards the late 90’s.

2. Government policies

The government’s deliberate move to make ICT one of the central pillars in the Vision 2030 development plan has been lauded as progressive. The government’s emphasis on ICT has been one of the key factors tech multinationals have set up base in Nairobi. “If present trends continue and gain greater momentum, Nairobi may achieve the coveted goal of developed status sooner than anyone expects,” states ICF.

3. Innovation ecosystem

The Intelligent Community Forum identifies iHub as the genesis of innovation hubs that have now spread across the country. The model has allowed tech entrepreneurs develop and launch innovative products, not just in Kenya but across Africa. Multinational organizations have found a working system to plug-in and partner with. ICF gives an example of how Microsoft has partnered with Intel and a school association to create devices bundled with educational apps and affordable data plans.

4. Partnerships between the private sector and Universities

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Multinational and regional tech corporations are partnering with universities to equip practical skills of students. Huawei, Intel, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Google, Samsung are some of the companies that have university programs.

5. Diversified economy

Nairobi accounts for 60 percent of Kenya’s GDP with various sectors such as manufacturing, financial markets and tourism contributing to the economy of the country. “The beginning of a modern market economy has permitted private-sector and public-sector progress to take hold.”

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...