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Digital Subscriptions > Cities Today > The State of African Cities 2018 > Chapter 9 Smart Cities Within World City Networks

Chapter 9 Smart Cities Within World City Networks

Definitions of a smart city must reflect the urgent need for cities to understand their changing position within a highly globalized economic system
© Busakorn Pongparnit
Among cites that are classified as smart within Africa, Johannesburg leads in terms of FDI
© Ulrich Mueller

The smart city is a multidimensional concept with no universal definition. Efforts and policies to develop smart cities in countries around the world to achieve sustainable growth and higher efficiency are increasing. At the same time, cities around the world compete to attract higher volumes of FDI, which requires specific urban characteristics to enable these cities to become more competitive and resilient. In these developmental pursuits, Africa’s involvement and performance in smart city innovation and FDI competitiveness remains modest. This study analyses how the smart city concept can become more integrated in urban

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About Cities Today

The State of African Cities 2018 is published by IHS-Erasmus University Rotterdam and UN-Habitat in partnership with the African Development Bank. The aim of the report is to contribute to development policies that can turn African cities into more attractive, competitive and resilient foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations. Attracting global FDI is highly competitive and crosses various geographic scales, therefore regional cooperation by cities and nations is critical. But FDI is not a panacea since it has both positive and negative effects and careful choices need to be made by cities in their pursuit of FDI, if it is to lead to inclusive economic growth. This report aims to provide guidance on these choices and to facilitate understanding of the complexity of global investment in Africa.