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Africa unveils its first ever ‘smart parking’ system in Ethiopia

Africa has unveiled it's first-ever 'smart parking' system' in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in an effort to reduce urban congestion and parking problems in the city. The innovative project cost around $2.2 million to construct - and it is hoped the 'smart parking' system can finally resolve the issues around mobility in a city notorious for its traffic jams. However, Addis Ababa's motorists are plagued even more by the fact the city has insufficient parking facilities.

The Ethiopian capital has been compared to Lagos as both cities share common peculiarities of being small, densely populated cities. However, whilst Addis Ababa has taken progressive steps towards the optimization of its transport system by constructing trams and building metro trains across the city to diversify transportation options for the public - Lagos has lagged behind and still struggles deeply in relation to urban congestion and parking.

Nigeria's capital city is attempting to implement structures that will enable it to become a 'smart city' - but when you examine the scant progress it has made in relation to mobility, it becomes evident it still has a long, long way to go.

A light rail system which was vetoed by the Fashola administration has yet to be completed despite the project commenced work almost five years ago. In addition to this, the BRT system is not at the level it should be, whilst the waterway system is under-utilized and a complete overhaul is required for its road infrastructure.

Residents in Addis Ababa have welcomed the investment in the 'smart parking' system - and have expressed their confidence it can solve the chronic parking issues in the city. The Ethiopian government has been methodical in its strategy and execution of overhauling services in Addis Ababa. It has been a slow process and they are taking on one project at a time and it has been a very effective strategy.

Analysts have also suggested that one of the key factors in the progression of Addis Ababa has been the participation of the private sector in a lot of the projects and initiatives being pursued, whilst perhaps the same enthusiasm in Lagos is lacking.