CC image courtesy of Patrick H~ on Flickr
Kenya’s Mombasa, Nigeria’s Abuja and South Africa’s Durban have been declared “Smarter Cities” after winning an IBM challenge, earning US$500,000 as well as help from the company to address issues such as clean water, healthy food, revenue generation, job development, efficient transportation, and public safety.
The Smarter Cities Challenge entailed a team of IBM-selected experts choosing cities and regions from around the world in which to provide pro bono consulting expertise on their most critical issues.
“We are honoured and elated to receive this award. We are confident that it will go a long way in helping us to elaborate mechanisms that will increase efficiency in revenue collection and ultimately improve service delivery to our citizens and to Mombasa as a preferred tourist destination,” said Mombasa governor Hassan Joho.
With the programme, IBM studies a local issue that the winning municipality chooses, then spends three weeks with stakeholders as well as gathering and analysing data which helps them establish causes and solutions for the problem.
At the conclusion of these studies, IBM presented comprehensive recommendations for solving the problem, followed weeks later by a more detailed, written plan for its implementation.
An IBM team will visit Mombasa later this year to review and recommend strategies for enhancing revenue collection and management.
Smarter Cities Challenge was originally conceived in 2011 as a three-year grant programme, but highly positive feedback and effective results have encouraged IBM to extend the initiative.