Technology is key to social, economic reform of Accra, IBM says

Technology is key to social, economic reform of Accra, IBM says

(Press Release). Global technology giant IBM has released a new report, a Vision for Smarter Growth: an IBM Smarter Cities Report on Accra, Ghana, that says  cloud computing, Big Data and mobile technologies can help transform Ghana’s capital Accra into a smarter city, thus improving lives and bolstering the West African hub’s continued rise to prosperity.

The International Monetary Fund says Ghana is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, which is driven by an emerging oil and gas industry, and a growing base of consumers and significant foreign investment.

The Mastercard’s African Cities Growth Index ranks Accra among one of Africa’s fastest emerging cities, and Accra is also ranked Africa’s top city in terms of economic potential over the next five years.

IBM says its report highlights how the rapidly emerging West African city should turn to technology to transform its key urban systems. Based on the opinions of local experts from across public and private sectors and civil society, the report identifies city services, transportation, and energy as essential for Accra’s urban reform.

“As Ghana’s capital, Accra is emerging as one of Africa’s economic success stories,” Accra mayor Alfred Vanderpujie said. “But such growth is not sustainable in the long term if we do not act now to put in place the systems and processes of the future. Technology is clearly one of the fundamental building blocks for creating a smarter and better functioning Accra.”

IBM Ghana GM Joe Mensah says IBM’s approach is to enter a dialogue with key stakeholders and experts on the ground to understand the challenges and explore where technology can be successfully applied to transform the systems on which the country’s cities depend.

“Cities across Africa are facing the dual challenge of rapid urban and economic growth,” Mensah says.

The publication of the IBM report follows the launch of the Ghana government’s National Urban Policy Framework and Action Plan, which is aimed at improving infrastructure and raising revenue in Ghana’s cities to reduce poverty and tackle the city’s growth challenges.

*Photo by Sky Scraper City. Ghana capital Accra.

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