Kathryn Cave looks at the growing phenomenon of Tech Cities across Africa and what the future holds for Konza Tech City, Kenya and Hope City, Ghana. Are there lessons to be from Nova Cidade de Kilamba, Angola?
Kathryn Cave – “The Big Experiment: Tech Cities Emerging Across Sub-Saharan Africa – Of course the tech cities of Africa are very different from the housing experiments of post-war Britain. The latter were born out of a desire to provide cheap state-paid-for housing for a booming population fragmented by war and lacking in space. The new African cities, on the other hand, are privately owned and created as aspirational epicentres for populations striving for commercial success in difficult circumstances. Yet they do have a lot in common…
Both are urban centres tacked on the edge of existing communities as stand-alone entities. Both are very much of their time (there was a big vogue for social housing projects during the 50s and 60s, whilst now the global emphasis is on the tech innovation in its various guises). But ultimately they’re both experiments… and nobody knows how these new African cities will turn out. Today tech cities are a big part of the pan-African agenda – especially in the sub-Saharan portion where GDP growth rates are very high and there is a lot of potential for progress. High profile examples include Konza Tech City, just outside Nairobi in Kenya and Hope City, just outside Accra, in Ghana, both due for completion in 2030. These are ambitious projects and are making a big PR splash, “What is lacking in the African continent is a place where you can have well-designed products, backed with concrete research and proper hardware and software developers to be able to create infrastructure for the telecoms industry,” Roland Agambire, whose company has acquired the land where Hope City will be built, told CNN.”
See on www.idgconnect.com