Smart Cities and why the Nordics are Leading

15 May 2019
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Room - Freesia

Smart Cities and why the Nordics are Leading


Few African cities have implemented “smart city” initiatives to drive urban development and economic growth and actual strategies are still lacking. The introduction of smarter electricity networks, also known as smart grids is becoming popular across major African cities. These smarter electricity networks are exhibited in the form of smart metering technologies and intelligent control back-offices that improve the visibility, control and automation of the network for both technical and management personnel. Many would argue that; a smart electricity grid is a subset of a smart cities initiative. Energy and cost saving solutions for both industrial and residential customers for the smart management of water, electricity, traffic and other services are some initiatives to consider as building blocks towards a smart city initiative.  The Nordics are global leaders in these areas and a growing number of cities have established government units to manage and incorporate IoT technologies into the urban grid to better service delivery and the lives for citizens. This session will share insights on how to manage the smart cities dynamics from the Nordic point of view as well as learn from existing African smart city initiatives is key. Understanding the challenges and successes of both African and Nordic cities and utilities in terms of smart cities is of paramount importance.

The massive pull of people away from rural areas to urban settings throughout Africa has enormous consequences on the future of African cities. It means a growing pressure on service delivery, infrastructure, waste management, housing, internet services, social amenities and all other basic human needs. The question is how new technologies can enable cities and utilities to meet these challenges whether being private or public sector driven.

Suggested Questions for Panellist:

  • Are the challenges of service delivery in African cities unique to African cities?
  • How do smart grids and other smart and green initiatives contribute to the smart cities concept?
  • Can we address smart cities without a system thinking approach that integrates other fundamentals?
  • Is there a role for government and private corporations in making the smart cities concept a reality?
  • Can strategic collaborations and PPP’s shorten the learning curve for interested parties?

Panel composition:

# Panellist Company Country
1. Mr. Thomas Abildgaard Jørgensen Project Manager at VandCenterSyd Denmark
2. Mr. Dominique Verhulst Head, Business Development, Nokia EMEA. Finland
3. Mr. Gary Brown Regional Business Development Consultant, Cambi Norway
4. Mr. Rashid Seedat Head, Gauteng Planning Division South Africa
5. Mr. Rashiq Fataar Director, Our Future Cities South Africa
6. Mr. Christofer Silfvenius Swedish Energy Agency Sweden