Nairobi has been named Africa’s most intelligent city according to Intelligent Community Forum. Nairobi was among 21 cities from across continents shortlisted being the only hub in Africa. The Intelligent Community has termed the city ‘revolutionary’ in its own way, and has planned its future in a way that is consistent with its cultural identity, while using universally available digital tools and broadband technology.
Each year, cities, towns and regions that continue to work with these tools and concepts transform themselves from ‘smart’ to ‘intelligent,’ which is how real sustainable growth and investment will arrive.
Co-founder Robert Bell has cited Nairobi as a strong foundation being put into place sensible, pro-growth government policy, a more diversified economy, and an innovation ecosystem of startups, international companies and universities.
The City has in it individuals who have taken ‘conscious steps’ to create economy that can flourish in the broadband economy which is where the rest of the world is headed from internet usage, mobile penetration and mobile money use to commendable percentages of high tech exports as proportion of total exports.
Now in its second year in a row to be named first, the Kenyan capital did not make it to the world’s top seven finalists; In order to qualify as a Top7 Intelligent Community, these cities and regions first needed to become an Intelligent Community Forum Smart21 Intelligent Community. The Smart21, named in October 2014, were chosen from hundreds of evaluated communities from around the world.
Candidates are evaluated based on the five Intelligent Community Indicators, which provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community’s competitiveness and point to its success in what the Intelligent Community Forum calls, “The Broadband Economy.”
In addition, the Intelligent Community Awards Program is guided by an annual theme, which in 2015 is The Revolutionary Community. This is an attempt to study and to have a global dialogue about urban and regional planning and how it is impacting the way people live, work and create in their cities and towns.