[Kenya Business Week] Smart cities, a panacea for urban population
As urban population hits unprecedented highs putting pressure on key amenities like housing, transport water and sanitation, and with countries like Kenya estimated to experience population explosion in cities, experts are mulling new and innovative ways to create smarter inclusive and sustainable cities.
This, as studies show that smart cities in Africa are gaining traction as urbanization rates increase.
It explains why UN Habitat this week embarked on a cities campaign in Kajiado and Ol Kalou. The aim of the Joint Work Programme for Equitable Economic Growth is to support growth trajectories characterized by inclusiveness, equitable and environmental sustainability in cities. The same week saw experts from UN-Habitat, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), AU, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa among others gather in Nairobi to chart out the process of elaborating a Model Law seeking to address urbanization challenges across the continent.
In energy, WorleyParsons signed a 22-month engineering contract with Kipeto Energy Limited for the Kipeto Wind Power Project in Kenya. The project is the second largest in the country after the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project. The latest agreement follows another between Kenya Power and Kipeto Power Limited for development of a 100 megawatt wind energy project in Oldonyo Narok near Kiserian, Kajiado County. Other financiers that have invested in Kenya's wind power projects include Standard Bank Group and Africa Development Bank.
In matters banking, NIC Bank Kenya PLC this week announced that it has successfully transformed multiple banking processes, using Newgen's Business Process Management based banking solutions. The bank has also been the first in East Africa to implement modern NCR interactive ATMs as competition for customers move online with innovations like recovery software solution and mobile money transfer platforms driving this rennaisance.
Spire Bank has also this week partnered with Blockbank in facilitating a wide variety of international crytpto banking activity with a view to present the world's first fully licensed crypto bank with low-cost funding availability.
In ICT, Hashmart Kenya, which specializes in electronics, has become the latest player to join has the online retail industry in Kenya to tap the growing numbers of shoppers turning to the internet to buy various items. Other companies that have recently introduced e-commerce platforms recently include Kasha and Jumia Food. Studies have indicated that Kenya is among leading countries driving Africa online retail sales.
Two schools in Kenya have also this week benefited from an e-learning project led by Camara Education in conjunction with Dell and Computer Aid.