The capital of Gabon, Libreville

This program called Citynext covers eight key areas: health, social services, infrastructure, water, electricity, justice, culture and education.

The capital of Gabon, Libreville, has signed a partnership with Microsoft to take advantage of technological advances and the latest
generation of applications for the practical implementation of innovative
solutions.

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This program called Citynext covers
eight key areas: health, social services, infrastructure, water, electricity, justice, culture and education.

In the field of transport, for example, the American technology giant will develop low-cost
tools for the management of urban transport. The application will allow the
management of traffic from a live feed, giving a real-time report of traffic
incidents and provides other location-based elements.

 

For improving governance,
including tax collection, Libreville will have an overview of the level of
taxes collected,​by month, by year, by industry, etc. One can then, thanks to
this application, compare performance and incorporate indicators such as gross
domestic product, annual inflation, and population. This new range of
technological tools that Microsoft will provide for the city of Libreville will
also allow citizens to participate in the protection of urban heritage.
Citizens can thus report cases of damaged public property, potholes or
antisocial behavior such as illegal dumping of garbage, etc. "The citizen just has to take photos, add comments,
and information is automatically sent in his name. He can then follow up with
management on notified cases
",
says an engineer at Microsoft.

Other applications provide access
to vital services, police, emergencies an e-form.

An example of such is the
Telehealth application which allows to citizens to find information and get
access to public health. It provides a list of hospitals and doctors treating
specific conditions, the list of support centers, their addresses, their
contacts, geolocation, resource availability and waiting lists.

According to Mr. Bazoumana,
Director of Accounts for Microsoft West Africa, the tech giant is putting
technology at the service of communities. "The people are the core of cities. By integrating
technology in the life of the city, we can do more with less, drawing on urban
trends and using them to meet the needs of citizens
", he said.

For the mayor of Libreville, Rose
Christiane Ossouka Raponda, with this partnership, the city of Libreville becomes
"modern and respectful of the
requirements related to sustainable development, protection and preservation of nature
".

However, some social activists
have raised concerns about the security of the data to be manipulated.

Libreville may have just gotten on the right path to become Africa’s first and true smart city.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.