Seeking Frugal Tech Solutions For Nairobi’s Jammed Traffic | NPR News
Traffic in Nairobi is so mind-numbing it makes Los Angeles’ Interstate 5 look like the Autobahn. Motorcycles squeeze between cars and trucks that practically park on major boulevards and highways. Street peddlers walk to and fro selling newspapers, flowers, air fresheners and children’s toys to captive audiences. Roundabouts become cartoonishly clogged.
Nairobi is the world’s fourth-most congested city, far worse than any in the U.S., according to a 2011 survey. Kenya’s government estimates traffic jams cost Nairobi $600,000 per day in lost productivity and wasted fuel. That’s $219 million per year.
It all portends more congestion, frustration and waste, unless Nairobi can find a different type of solution for its traffic woes. One team at IBM’s headquarters in Nairobi thinks it has found an answer — and if it works, it could provide relief to millions of commuters throughout the developing world.

Seeking Frugal Tech Solutions For Nairobi’s Jammed Traffic | NPR News

Traffic in Nairobi is so mind-numbing it makes Los Angeles’ Interstate 5 look like the Autobahn. Motorcycles squeeze between cars and trucks that practically park on major boulevards and highways. Street peddlers walk to and fro selling newspapers, flowers, air fresheners and children’s toys to captive audiences. Roundabouts become cartoonishly clogged.

Nairobi is the world’s fourth-most congested city, far worse than any in the U.S., according to a 2011 survey. Kenya’s government estimates traffic jams cost Nairobi $600,000 per day in lost productivity and wasted fuel. That’s $219 million per year.

It all portends more congestion, frustration and waste, unless Nairobi can find a different type of solution for its traffic woes. One team at IBM’s headquarters in Nairobi thinks it has found an answer — and if it works, it could provide relief to millions of commuters throughout the developing world.

IBM’s Global Entrepreneur program supports Kenyan startups towards achieving Smarter Cities | CIO East Africa
As part of its Global Entrepreneur Program, IBM has announced that it is working with four more Kenyan startups towards achieving its Smarter Cities strategy. Privately held startups that are less than five years in existence can apply to be selected in the program. Startups selected however are in line with the smarter cities strategy which focuses with solutions that improve infrastructure, health, education, public safety, energy and water, smarter buildings and urban planning, environment , government and agency administration and transportation and social programs. 

IBM’s Global Entrepreneur program supports Kenyan startups towards achieving Smarter Cities | CIO East Africa

As part of its Global Entrepreneur Program, IBM has announced that it is working with four more Kenyan startups towards achieving its Smarter Cities strategy. Privately held startups that are less than five years in existence can apply to be selected in the program. Startups selected however are in line with the smarter cities strategy which focuses with solutions that improve infrastructure, health, education, public safety, energy and water, smarter buildings and urban planning, environment , government and agency administration and transportation and social programs. 

Building Innovation Ecosystems | Smarter Planet Blog
The message is clear: CEO Ginni Rometty wants IBM to play an active role in building innovation ecosystems in Africa.
California’s Silicon Valley is the prototype innovation ecosystem. It benefitted from the combination of good universities, entrepreneurial companies, government incentives and robust supplies of venture capital. Many of other places have tried to copy Silicon Valley’s formula—some quite successfully, among them Bangalore, India, and Singapore.
Kenya is among the countries in Africa that have the potential of creating a vibrant innovation ecosystem. Students and entrepreneurs dream of tapping science and technology to solve social and business problems. Universities aim to expand their research and teaching programs in science, math and technology. Business leaders are creating startup incubators to encourage entrepreneurship—places like iHub, FabLab Nairobi and NaiLab

Building Innovation Ecosystems | Smarter Planet Blog

The message is clear: CEO Ginni Rometty wants IBM to play an active role in building innovation ecosystems in Africa.

California’s Silicon Valley is the prototype innovation ecosystem. It benefitted from the combination of good universities, entrepreneurial companies, government incentives and robust supplies of venture capital. Many of other places have tried to copy Silicon Valley’s formula—some quite successfully, among them Bangalore, India, and Singapore.

Kenya is among the countries in Africa that have the potential of creating a vibrant innovation ecosystem. Students and entrepreneurs dream of tapping science and technology to solve social and business problems. Universities aim to expand their research and teaching programs in science, math and technology. Business leaders are creating startup incubators to encourage entrepreneurship—places like iHub, FabLab Nairobi and NaiLab

African Cities to Triple in Size | Sustainable Cities Collective


Traffic in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo by Nick M.

Much of the growth of cities this century will take place in Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. Already the region has about 200 million people living in slums, the highest number in the world, according to the United Nations. It was a little over a year ago that the continent’s population topped a billion; by early 2040, a billion people alone are expected to live in the continent’s cities.

A publication released in November by UN-Habitat, “The State of African Cities 2010: Governance, Inequalities and Urban Land Markets,” examines trends in population growth, improvements in slum conditions in North Africa, rising sea levels, the economic potential of urban areas, and mobility in sub-Saharan slums. Staggeringly, by 2030, the continent will no longer be majority rural, a projection which is due in part to agricultural reform and more economic opportunity in cities. In fact, urbanization is happening faster in Africa than in anywhere else in the world. To plan for cities as being the future homes for most Africans, the report suggests:

(Read the rest on sustainablecities)