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Building Accra to be more than a smart city- SIX and iSpace are looking for partners and sponsors

Published Date: 15 April 2016

SIX and iSpace are looking for partners and sponsors!

After the success of our series of work in Africa so far, including the event on what makes a city a hub for innovation in Nairobi last May and our event in Mumbai exploring how new ways of connecting are making cities better for all, we are delighted to announce that we are working with the iSpace Foundation, Ghana's only independent and locally owned hub, to host a workshop on building Accra to be more than a smart city.

This workshop will explore how Accra can use a collaborative combination of governance, technology, partnerships and education to become more than a smart city. This workshop will go beyond current rhetoric and explore exactly what is needed to develop a thriving technological, entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem in the city. As cities across Africa, including Accra, follow the global trend of implementing smart cities- this workshop will challenge the current top down thinking, explore what is possible, and ensure that all voices are included in shaping the future agenda of the city and the region.

Combining unique insight from across the city and the world to bring together the unusual suspects, this workshop will connect a diversity of sectors including business, technology, development, the arts, and design amongst others. We will learn from what’s worked elsewhere and most importantly what hasn’t, to explore how Accra can be more than a smart city and a leader in the region.

How to get involved - Sponsorship Options

We are seeking to collaborate with a range of organisations who can provide a different perspective, who are prepared to work in a collaborative way, and who would like to co create activities which will form part of the events and broader series of work across Africa.

If you want to get involved, please contact jordan@socialinnovationexchange.org

You can see a full proposal here. 

Background 


Accra has an unprecedented opportunity to use transformative technologies as the foundation for future growth and development. It’s important that this opportunity is not missed and is informed by the majority of citizens in the city.

Accra is one of Africa's fastest emerging and growing cities. With over 4 million people and one of the ten largest economies in Africa- it is quickly establishing itself as a hub for innovation. With the emergence of tech and maker spaces, innovation hubs, incubators, an entrepreneurial training school and investors, there are more startup founders in Ghana than in the rest of the sixteen other ECOWAS member countries. However, as Ghana’s urban population continues to grow, so do challenges and strains on transportation, water, electricity, sanitation, health, public safety and energy. New technologies and ways of connecting, combined with active and engaged communities, can help alleviate some of these challenges.

Smart cities are becoming increasingly central in narratives about urban futures on the continent and around the world. Big data, mobile technology, advanced ICT infrastructure, connectivity and new urban tech spaces can all help transform cities by improving the performance of urban services, reduce costs, increase transparency and accountability, and connect citizens in new ways. However, it is increasingly accepted that technology alone cannot alone transform a city – to be truly ‘smart’ technology needs to work in harmony with its citizens.