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Jakarta Post

Asian, African mayors set smart city alliance

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Fri, April 24, 2015   /  08:26 am
Asian, African mayors set smart city alliance

Sharing experience: Expert from Waseda University, Japan, Toshio Obi (left to right) mayor of Rawaldi-Palestine Majed J. A Abdulfattah; Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil; mayor of Victoria, Seychelles, Jacqueline Moustache-Belle; and expert on urban planning Francesc Girait of Spain (right, walking) present their ideas during a discussion at the Asia Africa Smart City Summit (AASCS) 2015 in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday. Representatives of city administrations, academicians and business community discussed issues facing their own local governments, such as environment, housing, energy and transportation. Antara/AACC2015/M Agung Rajasa

Mayors from the Asia-Africa region agreed to establish the Asia Africa Smart City Alliance as part of an agreement after discussing the topic and attending a panel session at the Asia-Africa Smart City Summit on Wednesday and Thursday in Bandung.

'€œThe alliance, specifically on smart city, would be able to transform Indonesia as well as Asian and African nations in the future,'€ said Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil, who was picked by acclamation as chairman of the alliance.

Besides being grouped in an alliance, the participants also issued the Bandung Declaration on smart cities.

The declaration consists of five points of agreement to strengthen development between cities in the Asia-Africa region, including their commitment to building a network and shared knowledge on a smart city model.

The city leaders also pledged to work together to create environmentally friendly cities, smart public services, sustainable transportation sectors, renewable energy sources, as well as natural disaster prevention and mitigation in the Asia-Africa region.

They also agreed to boost collaborative networking and partnership in advocating smart city development through the establishment of the Asia-Africa Smart City Forum.

 '€œTo realize the declaration, I will form a committee involving members from the Asia-Africa region. Initially, there will only be around 30 [mayors], but hopefully the number will increase. Essentially, it is about helping the community,'€
said Ridwan.

The 2015 Asia-Africa Smart City Summit was attended by 25 mayors, seven of them from Indonesia. It was attended by 446 participants from 39 countries and 69 cities in the Asia-Africa region.  

Mayor of Victoria, Seychelles, Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, said the spirit of sharing to resolve various urban issues was part of a good effort and should be realized.

'€œIf one city has the technology that works, why it should invent the other [with the same solution],'€ said Belle.

The application of information technology to support the presence of a smart city also must be based on the needs of each city, said Belle.

'€œAfrica is a big continent, a different country has a different administration, and there again, the wisdom about this is to understand what you want in the long run,'€ said Belle.

Meanwhile, Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara warmly welcomed the Bandung-born initiative.

'€œOur national leaders in Jakarta are drawing up a strategic partnership, but Bandung is a step ahead,'€ said Rudiantara.

He added that the smart city concept was not merely reliance on technology. He would agree more if the indicator used ensured the community acquired added value for their welfare.

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