Nigeria may have deep pockets in Africa, but Kenya’s capital has the brains to be named the most intelligent community on the continent, according to an international think tank.
Nairobi is the lone African city on the list and ranked tenth behind Arlington (US), Astana (Kazakhstan), Aurora (US), Changhua (China, Ohio (US), Iowa (US), Edmonton (Canada), Ipswich (UK) and South Dakota (US.)
Organized by Intelligent Community Forum, the contest is aimed at recognizing achievements made by cities in building inclusive and prosperous economies based on information and communication technologies.
“We see a strong foundation being put into place in Nairobi: sensible, pro-growth government policy, a more diversified economy, and an innovation ecosystem of start-ups, international companies and universities,” says forum co-founder Robert Bell, lauding Nairobi’s initiative in innovation.
“The city is also one of two sub-Saharan cities likely to achieve developed status within 20 years. If the prediction proves true, it will mark a sharp positive turn at the end of a very long road.”
One of the key criteria that qualified Nairobi include the innovation in M-Pesa, which is reportedly to be handling about $320 million USD in payments monthly.
The city is also credited for stimulating economic activity by making banking services available to low-income earners in both towns and rural areas.
Known for its incubation centres like I-Hub and the Chandaria Business and Innovation Incubation Centre, Nairobi was also named as an Intelligent Community in 2014.