Africa within Global Cities: What do we know and how to proceed?
Increasing globalization, unprecedented urbanisation, environmental consciousness and technology development has redirected global cities' focus towards strategic and smart solutions to solve issues changing city dynamics through a smart city agenda, African cities included. The smart city agenda has been globally debated via varying perspectives but most of the concept's ideology has been limited to the diffusion of technology; excluding social, human, economic, environmental capital and city networks that determine city progress and smartness. Also, despite Africa's incessant dysfunctional land and housing systems,inadequate basic services and infrastructure and poor environmental performances; less research exist in the continent to understand this concept, its application and the continent's position amongst world smart cities. This paper investigates the concept of smart cities within the spectrum of these identified gaps. The research begins by providing an array of relevant literature on smart city. It then assesses global smart cities with specific attention on the position of African cities amongst these cities. The research methodology included a quantitative data analysis based on an ordered probit regression model to examine the relationship between a city's characteristics and its smartness. The study revealed that for a city, especially African cities to achieve a high level of smartness and prosperity, the city needs to have a long term and global vision beyond the domain of leT. The study concludes by critically re-examining development policy agendas and integrating elements of a smart city into a particular city's vision, policy makers in Africa will discover requisite information on attaining smart, sustainable and integrated development in their cities.