In its quest to create a Smart City, the City of Cape Town has called upon its residents to submit ideas to make Cape Town a Smart City. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - Spending on technologies that enable smart city initiatives is forecast to reach $1.26 billion for Africa and the Middle East in 2018, Africa Business Communities reported, citing research by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Smart cities are urban areas that use electronic data collection sensors to supply information used to manage assets and resources efficiently.

"The year 2017 could be considered as the coming-of-age year for smart cities in the region," Africa Business Communications quoted IDC MEA program manager Jebin George as saying.

"The concept is being widely discussed and adopted in the region, early success stories are starting to emerge, almost all greenfield developments are incorporating smart technologies by default, and nations are developing a common vision around the Smart City concept. The region is now getting into an exciting phase of the smart city journey, characterized by wider adoption and faster growth."

The strategic priorities in the Middle East and Africa that IDC believes will see the most spending in 2018 are sustainable planning and administration and intelligent transportation. 

Intelligent traffic and transit, digital permitting, licensing and inspections, and smart cities platforms will be the region's largest use cases in terms of spending in 2018, followed by in-car camera systems, smart kiosks, and fixed visual surveillance.

- African News Agency (ANA)