SAP Africa Launches Urban Matters Initiative
Nov 18,2013 0 Comments
SAP Africa recently announced the kick-off of its SAP® Urban Matters initiative at the Africa Urban Matters, Cities of the Future event hosted in Cape Town. The event focused on how innovative technology can be leveraged to make cities and municipalities more effective – and improve the lives of citizens.
Drawing attendees from across Africa and Europe and with representatives from cities in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa and the United Kingdom, the event featured an opening address by Patricia de Lille, Mayor of the City of Cape Town, a keynote address on ‘Connected Cities’ by Nirvesh Sooful, CEO at African Ideas, and a presentation by Andre Stelzner, CIO, City of Cape Town. Stelzner will be sharing his experience on what it takes to be an ‘integrated city.’ In addition, participants from cities across Africa will contribute their perspectives to help shape the discussion around the future of cities in Africa.
This event is the African chapter of a series of international SAP events that have been hosted in Singapore, New York City (United States of America), Puebla (Mexico), London (United Kingdom), Auckland (New Zealand), Berlin (Germany), Delhi (India) and Bogota (Colombia). The events showcase best practices of cities around the world, and provide an interactive forum to address local-specific issues. Glyn Evans, Former Director of Birmingham’s Transformation Programme, will be presenting a case study on City Transformation. He will not only discuss how ICT solutions helped Birmingham build a better city, but also share the lessons learned while new processes were being implemented. Also presenting at the event is Jak Koseff, Director of Social Assistance from the City of Johannesburg, who will be talking about cities’ social responsibilities.
In 2010, Africa’s urban population was approximately 36%, but this number is projected to rapidly increase to 50% and 60% by 2030 and 2050, respectively. According to the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), the proportion of South Africans living in urban areas increased from 52% in 1990 to 62% in 2012. As Africa is becoming increasingly urbanised with millions of people migrating to all major hubs, there is clearly a pressing need for governments and municipalities to efficiently deal with this enormous influx and all other related issues.
“The need of the hour is to rapidly accelerate the benefits of ICT-enabled change through transformation of the public sector and the wider economy. In order to flourish, African cities must equip themselves with the best possible technical tools to directly tackle environmental and social challenges, underpinned by proven budgeting and management processes,” said Nirvesh Sooful, CEO at African Ideas. “Governments need to consider partnering with companies like SAP, giving them access to best practices and innovative ways of solving the myriad of complex problems that face cities today.”
SAP Urban Matters
Having worked with numerous city and urban governments across the world — from Brisbane to Boston, Berlin to Bogota, London to Singapore, Paris to Mumbai — SAP says it has developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with urban development.
The SAP Urban Matters initiative focuses on helping urban governments deliver the citizen-centric services and efficiencies needed to be best-run cities. This primarily involves three over-arching themes such as helping improve urban liveability and create an inclusive, safer, greener and cleaner city. It also helps transforming city governments so they are open, high performing, effective and efficient . Driving economic prosperity in cities, through better management of city finances, improving tax collection, helping small businesses to grow and making the city more attractive for investment, skills develop pment and innovation. SAP also says it takes a holistic approach to urban sustainability, incorporating crucial pillars like governance, public security, the environment as well as citizen engagement.
The SAP Urban Matters solution portfolio offers a broad range of solutions for improving transportation, governance and to make the city safer and more secure. Other than the City of Cape Town, several other municipalities in South Africa are already successfully running SAP solutions like SAP® ERP Human Capital Management and SAP® Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Integration for Utilities software.
“With the global focus on Africa, governments across the continent are relying on innovative technology to help them prepare for issues associated with rapid urbanisation,” commented Pfungwa Serima, CEO SAP Africa. “We have been working with city, state and local governments in Africa and many other cities across the world to transform and innovate since the nineties, SAP Urban Matters intensifies our the importance of our urban focus and defines how we will support best run cities in the future.”