Zooming into the rosy security outlook for the Kenyan market
As part of Axis Communications’ smart city initiative, the company helps cities fulfil their promise of creating safer, more mobile everyday environments for its citizens. To demonstrate what is possible, Axis recently showcased cutting edge smart city solutions at Securexpo East Africa 2018, which took place from 31 January to the 2nd of February at the Visa Oshwal Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to Roy Alves, Country Manager, Axis Communications, there is a real sense of excitement on the ground in Kenya when it comes to the outlook for the year ahead. This is as a result of many factors, including the fact that the 2017 general elections were held successfully and culminated in a positive sense that the country can become the economic spring board for the rest of the East Africa.
Also adding to the optimistic outlook is the fact that the country’s banking sector is the most developed in Central and East Africa. Oil discoveries in the north of the country are attracting more investment in hydrocarbon exploration, but the scope and longevity of the investment is dependent upon future oil price movements while security and public safety also has a role to play.
Higher oil production of at least 80,000 barrels per day is expected from 2022 onwards, provided oil-sector-related investment continues such as construction of an oil pipeline and there are no nasty surprises in terms of global oil prices. This is good news for Kenya, as it is an oil-importing country and oil imports strongly influence the country’s trade balance.
To help ensure the security of these important sites for the city, Kenya’s authorities can employ Axis cameras, combined with our partners’ expertise in technologies such as facial recognition and even drone detection. This will allow state and city authorities to automatically spot potential incidents and manage events as they happen in real-time.
Investments in Kenya’s infrastructure
A key part of the smart city concept is that of a safe city, where authorities strive to reduce crime rates and make citizens feel secure. Smart cities use cameras, sensors and other connected technology to increase liveability and improve the management of the city’s assets to make sure they are protected.
Some of these investments include a $3.8 billion Mombasa-Nairobi railway line of 472 km, which was inaugurated in May last year to heavily reduce transport costs between Mombasa and Nairobi. This is critical since Mombasa is East Africa’s busiest port, meaning there is some good opportunities in the region to further drive trade and industry.
Also many other large-scale projects have also been announced and this will support growth such as a $5.4 billion deal for railway-network upgrades, which was signed with a Chinese firm in 2016, along with a $408 million loan for construction of a geothermal plant, which was agreed to in a deal with Japan in 2016. Additionally, The World Bank has approved a $1.9 billion loan to fund infrastructure projects such as roads, airports, and power generation and transmission over the course of the next two years.
In terms of public safety when it comes to smart cities, surveillance can be used for improving the city’s mobility. Smart video solutions from company’s such as Axis and its partners can significantly improve the urban traffic flow in cities like Nairobi. These solutions can swiftly detect traffic accidents or violations, as well as provide comprehensive data for improving traffic flow. The result is not only faster emergency response and better use of existing infrastructure, but also happier commuters.
Besides these infrastructure investments, electricity is also key to development and consequently, there is a plan to invest $1.8 billion in the electricity network of Kenya in the next five years. Moreover, the country has plans for a $500m liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which should assist in reducing power cuts and high electricity bills in the country, especially since other electric power plants will come on stream in the next two years.
In order to protect all of these investments and its citizens, as well as run the city more effectively, Axis showcased intelligent security solutions at Securexpo which help city management enable a smarter, safer world.
From deterring crime to reducing road congestion, Axis cameras are versatile tools that support the entire incident management chain. Detailed, high-quality video in all conditions, means that these solutions offer the best possible platform for optimising situational awareness and operational efficiency. All of these solutions enable countries such as Kenya to establish and more effectively management smart cities, while keeping all of its citizens secure.