Smart cities enable three important pillars for the country and community: smartness, safety, and sustainability. The level of emphasis on each of the pillars differs between countries, depending on the needs and focus of the country. According to Mahmoud El-Banna, Head of Digital Industries Sales for China, India,, and MEA at Nokia, Africa has a huge opportunity to evolve towards the smart city concept.
“Most countries in Africa are prioritizing digital transformation, and smart city is one of the core focus areas in their plans. There are a few national and private initiatives for smart cities in Africa at multiple scales and levels. The new administrative capital city in Egypt represents a prime example for the establishment of the smart city model, along with the multiple other smart city initiatives underway in the country. Apart from Egypt, we see multiple smart city initiatives in South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, to name a few,” he says.
Egypt is building a new administrative capital as a megacity to host more than 7 million inhabitants in the near future. “The city will host a major governmental district where all the governmental entities will operate from the city in the future. The city is built according to the latest modern standards of smart cities with state-of-the-art use cases providing a unique living experience to the citizens of the city. The city is built in the far eastern part of Cairo with multiple transportation channels to the Cairo city centre and districts, including a new monorail line that links the city to the city centre in Cairo,” says El-Banna.
Besides the amazing developments in the new capital, Egypt is establishing a handful of other smart cities across the country. New Alamin is a major expansion on the northwestern coast of Egypt on the shore of the Mediterranean. The city will host a couple of million inhabitants in the future with full governmental, educational, healthcare and transportation infrastructure. There are also many other initiatives such as Galala city, new Mansoura, and major renovation in other cities in upper Egypt.
Egypt is also ensuring proper transportation across the country to provide proper access to the residents of the new cities. “The ministry of transport is currently building two monorail lines that connect the Eastern part including the new capital of Cairo to the West. Egypt is building a high-speed rail line that will connect all the major cities in the country including the new ones. The line will start from Al Ain El Sokhna, passing by the new capital to New Alamin and Marsa Matoruh,” he says.
“The private real estate sector in Egypt has also realized the importance of developing smart cities and started developing new residential districts offering the latest standards of smart cities. There are already multiple examples and showcases in the country, and some real-estate developers have already announced the establishment of a 5G-based city,” says El-Banna.
“Nokia has been at the forefront of smart cities projects in Egypt, working to execute on the vision of the Egyptian government and the city operators,” he concludes. “We have a strong presence in smart cities across multiple domains in key projects in the country, providing fiber broadband access, IP/Optical backbone and full IT layer covering cloud, billing, charging and orchestration solutions to our smart city customers in Egypt.”