Exploring the Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Pandemic on Achieving Smart Cities in Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A study conducted by UN Habitat (2020) revealed that financing of investment in African growing cities has become an impediment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Close to USD 93 billion is needed to finance urban development in Africa. The prevalence of COVID-19 pandemic impacted negatively on the independence of African cities to raise revenue or incur long-term debt to finance their development. Several local governments in African cities are not positioned enough to ensure quality standards of living for their people. This is because many local authorities in African cities cannot intervene in various emergencies or crises which pose a danger to people given the COVID-19 pandemic era where strategic government interventions are essential to save the lives of the people. Burdened by the need to respond to COVID-19, many African governments have diverted their attention from the smart city ideology which demands stable financial revenues and redirected their efforts towards mitigating the scourge of the pandemic. Drawing from this background, therefore this chapter reports on the three selected African cities (Johannesburg, Lagos and Accra) because of their experiences regarding COVID-19, and their responses to the pandemic towards achieving a smart city in Africa. The chapter is guided by the following specific objectives: To examine the unintended consequences of COVID-19 on the achievement of Smart Cities in three African Cities; to assess the opportunities and challenges of achieving smart cities amid COVID 19 in three African Cities; and to determine how rapid urbanisation affects the achievement of Smart Cities amid COVID-19 in three African Cities. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to analyse data acquired from secondary sources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCovid-19 in the African Continent
Subtitle of host publicationSustainable Development and Socioeconomic Shocks
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781801176866
ISBN (Print)9781801176873
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Africa
  • Consequences
  • COVID-19
  • development
  • rural economy
  • smart cities
  • urban areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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