Can you tell me a bit about your background and your current role?
I work in the lighting industries for more than 10 years and saw all the changes faced by this industry over this period. LEDs first, and now IOT technology. As a major company in the lighting and connected lighting industry, I am very proud to work for Lucy Zodion for almost 2 years now. Lucy Zodion is really pioneering the market with a really innovation solution and route to market, promoting and spreading collaboration, openness and interoperability as crucial for successful smart city projects deployment
What more do you think needs to be done to promote the development of Smart Cities in African countries?
Companies providing solution for Smart Cities projects definitely need to adapt their strategy to this new market. It is almost impossible to understand and fulfill all the needs a city can have by our own, and definitely need to create an open ecosystem where companies from different markets and with different skills will collaborate to build a real adapted and customer centric solution. Every project will need a specific approach and answer from our side
What will be a successful smart city model for Africa in your opinion?
We are facing challenging times to reduce our footprint and develop sustainable and environmental friendly solutions all over the world. A successful smart city model for Africa will need to address all the specificity of this continent and give citizens all the services they need to live with more security and better quality of life. What will be really specific for African cities maybe will be to involve more the local population in these projects, for them to be more independent and show some social benefits deploying this kind of project
How shall African leaders change their “smart city policy toolkit”?
African leaders need to understand they are in an incredible position to provide best in class infrastructures and services to their population collaborating with companies working in the IOT industry. Collaborating is the important word: Companies and Cities will need to build together the solution, to define objectives together and provide a high quality service linked to their project. Power need to be given to the cities, and not anymore in the companies providing the technical solutions.
What are the continent`s advantages for the development and implementation of successful smart city models and projects?
Whereas European cities already have existing infrastructures that are sometimes very difficult to adapt to new needs or new solutions, African cities have the opportunity to directly develop their infrastructures around top class solutions and then won’t have the issues European cities may face. Deployment will be easier as the project will be develop from scratch
How do you foresee the Smart cities in Africa in the next 5 years?
Demographics and expectations coming directly from the citizens will drive the opportunities of smart cities in Africa. Global warming and the need to slower the increasing demand of electricity globally, while providing the necessary level of infrastructures to everyone will also lead the needs for efficient solutions to better monitor our use of natural resources.