The rapid transformation of Lagos state in the last five years got the world’s attention over the weekend as Citigroup and Urban Land Institute, ranked her as one of two most innovative cities in Africa.
The two bodies which assess cities worldwide in terms of sustainability and livability, ranked Lagos and Cape Town the most innovative cities in Africa in the list of the world’s 25 most innovative cities.
They also predicted that the Nigerian commercial capital may soon overtake Johannesburg as the continent’s business hub.
According to the ranking, Lagos got the nod of the international bodies for its population, rapid progress and potential as well as positive economic climate and potential for investors while Cape Town was ranked for its green space and massive investment in public transportation, technological research and the environment.
In terms of Economic potential, Apapa Port was ranked for accounting for 80 per cent of Nigeria’s seaport activity while the city itself accounts for about one quarter of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with $33 billion and the population in excess of 18 million making it the most populous city on the list of 25.
Lagos was also included in recognition of the innovative and transformational leadership of the the city’s leadership led by Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) who, according to the international ranking bodies,“spearheaded the introduction of the Innovative Advisory Council which deals primarily with Science and Technology.”
A statement from Urban Land Institute which said the shortlisted cities “provide new avenues which reflect remarkable, forward-thinking decisions on the part of municipal leadership”, also described Lagos as one of the “biggest” cities in Africa.