According to the Knight Frank Report, African countries will be resilient in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic if they are innovative in providing long-term social solutions to their residents, attracting funding, and creating new demand for space.

The research looked through over 100 data points applied to 29 capital cities from a long list of over 500 cities in Africa to arrive at a unique innovation score. The innovation score comprises four components:

  • quality of innovation factors
  • Innovation infrastructure, such as the number of different research organisations in a city
  • Funding
  • Drive to innovate, which looks at data around motivation to innovate.

These are the 10 most innovative cities in Africa, according to Knight Frank report the top 10 Innovative Cities in Africa are:

  1. Nairobi
  2. Cape Town
  3. Kampala
  4. Cairo
  5. Johannesburg
  6. Dar es Salaam
  7. Lagos
  8. Dakar
  9. Accra
  10. Addis Ababa

Knight Frank Researcher for Africa, Tilda Mwai, said “Innovation coupled with economic growth will drive the next decade of investment in Africa. Lower risk investors will likely favour cities with above-average innovation scores and a robust economy. These include Cairo, Egypt – the stand-out performer – and Johannesburg, South Africa. These cities have the greatest potential to remain economically resilient in the long term despite undergoing short-term shocks.

Cities with higher Innovation scores but weaker economies will attract those willing to take on more risk, such as private equity investors. Nairobi, Kenya, Cape Town, South Africa, and Kampala, Uganda are among these cities.”

According to the report, data centres are expected to grow in particular to aid in urban innovation.

According to the report, Africa’s data centre markets can be divided into three categories. Tier one markets in Africa include Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Nairobi, which are quickly becoming the continent’s leading data centre markets. Tier two markets are cities with strategic positioning in the most populous countries, such as Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, and Kampala. Finally, tier three markets have a low population density and low ease of doing business.


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