By CrossRiverWatch Admin
A smart city according to Wikipedia is an urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology and Internet of things technology in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets.
The conceptualisation of a Smart City varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the proponents and city residents.
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade a few months back, in a visit to China discussed technicalities for the design and establishment of the Calabar Smart City project with Chinese ICT giants Huawei.
As a fallout of this partnership, equipment for the development of the Calabar Smart City project arrived the State a few days ago as work begins on the project.
The Calabar Smart City project is a very critical component and indeed the foundation of the development of Knowledge Economy in Cross River State.
Knowledge Economy is an economy in which growth is dependent on the quantity, quality, and accessibility of the information available, rather than the means of production.
There are four pillars of knowledge economy. These are: institutional structures that provide incentives for entrepreneurship and the use of knowledge, skilled labour availability and good education systems , Information infrastructure and access, and, finally, a vibrant innovation landscape that includes academia, the private sector and civil society.
Information and Communication Technology is a critical part of Information Infrastructure which is one of the key pillars of Knowledge Economy.
The Calabar Smart City project aims to provide this critical infrastructure along with city wide Wi-Fi and access to internet. This will provide opportunity for knowledge entrepreneurs to blossom in Cross River State.
It is expected that with the growth of the knowledge economy will come wealth and job creation with economic development of the state as the natural outcome.
Cross River State already boasts of almost 160 Kilometers of Fibre Optic cables laid across the city with 115km of telecommunications cable duct infrastructure laid by MTN Nigeria.
There were initial plans by MainOne to land its undersea cable in Calabar and other coastal capitals like PortHarcourt to increase broadband access in these cities. MainOne Cable is West Africa’s pioneer open access submarine cable company.
The Tinapa Knowledge City project unveiled under the immediate past governor Sen. Liyel Imoke set the ball rolling for the building of Knowledge Economy in Cross River State.
Tinapa Knowledge City was conceived to create opportunity to harness the knowledge potentials of the state and build the knowledge economy.
All these are critical structures that will ensure the building of a sustainable Knowledge Economy in the state.
The Calabar Smart City project in addition to providing resources for the growth of the knowledge economy will create smart solutions to current challenges and add innovation to existing corporate solutions.
It will enhance governance and support other strategic sectors thus propelling development of the state in the short, medium and long term. The intelligent world is driving the digital transformation of every industry and sector.
The technical partner of the Calabar Smart City project Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider.
When completed, the project will make the capital city of Calabar Nigeria’s ‘first smart city’ through cloud technology.
The Governor, Senator Ayade says the execution of the project will herald the full digitalization of Calabar and the entire state as data will be available via cheap Wi-Fi services.
The Governor of Cross River State Sen. Ben Ayade has also shown great commitment towards the development of education in Cross River State which is another key pillar of Knowledge Economy.
This administration is also providing institutional structures that provide incentives for entrepreneurship and the use of knowledge as well as creating an environment that encourages innovation.
In line with this, the Department of Creative and Knowledge Economy is unveiling an annual Cross River State Innovations Awards to recognize and celebrate innovative personalities and ideas in Cross River State.
Indeed the future of Knowledge Economy in Cross River State is bright and we can count on our state riding on the back of this growth to economic eldorado.
Let’s support the visions of Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade for the Growth of Cross River State.
Emmanuel Etim is the SSA Creative and Knowledge Economy, Cross River State.