They made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the three-day forum focusing on the potential of smart cities that could drive sustainable growth, enhance livability and foster innovation across Africa.
"The future of smart cities lies in our hands. We need to ensure the creation of smart cities in Africa to achieve sustainable urbanization. The progress we seek depends on our collective commitment to innovation and collaboration," said Pudence Rubingisa, mayor of Kigali city, at the forum.
He added that there is a need for investment in easing transportation, waste management and service delivery as countries embark on developing smart cities.
"We are hosting this summit at a time when digital technology is changing traditional ways of living, working, traveling, enjoying and engaging with people. This summit is a call to action, requiring our active participation in sessions, discussions, and contributing ideas that shape the future of our generation," Rubingisa said.
Speaking at the meeting, James Muchiri, deputy governor of Nairobi City County, said that through smart cities initiatives, digital technologies are modernizing city operations and transforming service delivery.
"African leaders and policymakers should support our cause of creating smart cities that provide order, dignity, and opportunity for all. We aim to create a city where no one is left behind," he added.
Muchiri emphasized that Africa’s fast-growing cities require smart and sustainable solutions to meet the needs of urban dwellers.
During the summit, the Smart City Hub Rwanda initiative was launched with the aim of shaping Rwandan cities in the future. It will help coordinate efforts to deliver smart solutions for the cities, said Rubingisa at the launch.
The summit, dubbed "Leadership for Smart Cities," brought together more than 1,000 participants from across Africa and beyond.