Electrified, automated and shared mobility in Africa: Lessons from Johannesburg, Kigali, Lagos and Nairobi

By Benjamin K. SovacoolChux Daniels and Abdulrafiu Abbas

A version of this blog first appeared on the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) blog. It can be found here.

In a newly published article, we focus on three innovations that are particularly important for Africa’s urban areas: automated vehicles, electric mobility, and ridesharing and bike-sharing. We look at four African urban areas in particular: Johannesburg (South Africa), Kigali (Rwanda), Lagos (Nigeria) and Nairobi (Kenya), and ask: what are the drivers behind these innovations in these regions? What are the potential barriers? And what implications for policy or sustainability transitions emerge? Here’s what we found.

Based on a review of the academic literature, we argue that these innovations are particularly important for low-carbon development — an important topic that is under-researched in many developing economies.

Using an interdisciplinary critical and umbrella literature review, we found that none of the three innovations we focussed on were purely positive or negative. All three of them had multiple positive drivers all of which had to be juxtaposed with negative barriers.

Although we treated each of the three innovations as fairly isolated from one another, there are emergent (and potentially strong) couplings or entanglements between them, e.g. between electrification and two-wheelers or automation and ridesharing. In some contexts, hybridization, incrementalism and leapfrogging are seen as positive attributes and desirable characteristics of planning and technology adoption.

Read the full article here.

Disclaimer:Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the University of Sussex, or the Sussex Energy Group as a whole. 

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The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual authors and do not represent Sussex Energy Group.

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