June 22, 2021
SEOUL – Today, WeGO held the first edition of the ‘Solutions Meet Cities: Online Matchmaking Webinar’, aimed at providing an open floor to members for them to promote their projects and solutions, thus creating opportunities for matchmaking and collaboration within WeGO’s network. Over 100 member cities, corporations and prospective partners took part in this webinar.
This online event also served to showcase the services WeGO provides members in terms of through the WeGO Smart City Driver–a comprehensive platform for cities to plan, finance and deploy their smart city projects–as a follow-up to the Smart City Driver open demo sessions and workshops in 2020.
To open the webinar, Seberang Perai, recipient of WeGO’s feasibility study (F/S) program in 2016 for smart street lights, spoke about the city’s experience with WeGO and emphasized the indispensable role WeGO played to facilitate and enable a smooth partnership with the implementing company, Gabotech, a corporate member of WeGO.
Representing Abuja, Digizens Collaborative presented one of Abuja’s newest initiatives: the creation of an online marketplace called Sana’a, designed to formalize the artisan market in the city, and later across the country. Expected to launch at the end of the month, Abuja presented the background developing the platform, and called to engage with international partners to further develop the project by seeking policy analysis and recommendations, platform data integration, PR and promotion, and more.
In response, WeGO corporate members gave feedback on how their solutions could help Abuja and other cities with similar challenges. SRPOST showcased their various solutions related to citizen participation systems, and shared key outcomes and important lessons learned from their experience in international projects, such as through WeGO’s F/S program in 2019 in Kampala on smart parking. Qlue introduced their portfolio of smart solutions which enable a smart city ecosystem–through an integrated city monitoring dashboard, citizen engagement and city report monitoring applications, traffic monitoring, facial recognition and thermal detection, among others–and the expected benefits using examples from Jakarta where the startup already has deployed several solutions and was awarded by WeGO for last year. WeavAir presented their solutions and new ongoing initiatives to improve air quality, emphasizing on the necessity of resilience and a holistic design when it comes to air quality management.
In a panel discussion, the speakers discussed the issues, opportunities and challenges related to smart city project implementation, particularly when done internationally. They agreed that the regulatory framework, available digital infrastructure, and having a facilitator/mediator as a partner are important factors to consider when collaborating internationally. There was also consensus on the need for a facilitator when creating international partnerships and discussants recognized WeGO’s is the organization that can help them do this. All speakers opened for working with international partners on their different projects, in particular on e-governance and citizen participation for Abuja, and high-impact priority projects designated by the government for Seberang Perai.
Seeing the high engagement from participants in this webinar, WeGO plans to replicate this type of webinar dedicated to discovering more opportunities for international smart city projects. Stakeholders can express their interest in future online events through the post-event survey, or on the website here, below the recording and presentation slides of the event.