The third annual Urban and Infrastructure Development Conference (UIDC 2017) provides a platform to unlock the growth potential of the African smart cities ecosystem. The conference will address the continent's urban and infrastructure opportunities in the mobility and transport, ICT, power and renewable energy, waste management and sustainability, and the big data and IoT sectors.
Africa is reportedly the second fastest urbanising continent in the world with its rate of urbanisation expected to reach 60% in 2050 (UN Habitat). As many as 24 countries across Africa are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5% or above by 2030, while urban populations in Africa are expected to triple in the next 50 years, changing the face of the continent and challenging the alignment of Africa’s growth, development and structural transformation with strategic economic growth priorities, policies and practice.
Transforming Africa’s infrastructure landscape by attracting investment and reinventing the urban agenda is key to accelerating economic growth and the successful development of ‘sustainable smart cities’ in Africa.
UIDC 2017 will take place on from 30-31 October 2017 at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Uganda in collaboration between Ethico Live UK and local Uganda partner, the Kampala School for Integrated Urban Planning (SIUP). The purpose of UIDC 2017 is to unlock the immense growth potential of urban African infrastructure by facilitating dialogue on the best practices to accelerate innovative finance, development and renewable solutions for smart cities in Africa.
David McLean, president of Ethico Live, notes that: “UIDC 2017 sets the stage for reinventing the urban agenda in Africa. The rate of urbanisation on the continent is creating critical demand for infrastructure not only to keep pace with this shift but also to deliver smart and renewable solutions. Government and private sector investment together with innovative financing mechanisms will also be vital for driving next-generation infrastructure development in Africa. UIDC will bring together the key stakeholders and influencers from the most dynamic markets across Africa and internationally to establish new business networks, develop and form partnerships and chart a way forward to address the continent’s key requirements to drive growth.”
Echoing these sentiments, Daniel Bwanika, Principal of The Kampala School for Integrated Urban Planning, said that: “Africa is undergoing a massive transformation, which has gathered increasing momentum over the past few years, fuelling huge demand for ‘smarter’ infrastructure services that effectively leverage technology for developments ranging from renewable energy solutions, power generation, transport services, city planning to innovative infrastructure financing. However, with many landlocked countries, poor transport and communication infrastructure, Africa remains highly fragmented. Fast-tracking development and extensively upgrading infrastructure requires significant financing and investment. But the upside is hugely attractive as it leads to reduced energy and transport cost and boosts intra-African trade together with external trade, boosts water and food security, increases global connectivity and sets the foundation for strong socio-economic growth.”
Combining an interactive two-day conference format with world‐class speakers and more than 200 international delegates from across Africa and internationally, UIDC 2017 will tackle the most pressing questions for the progress of urban and infrastructure development on the continent, providing a platform for all stakeholders to engage in creating a smarter future for Africa.