Dr Simangele Dlamini, a prominent researcher from the Democracy, Governance, and Citizenship unit within the Developmental, Capable, and Ethical State (DCES) division, recently attended the 10th International Conference on Social Sciences (ICOSS 2023). Held on September 7th and 8th in Bangkok, Thailand, this conference served as a platform for fostering deeper understanding of social sciences, facilitating connections among like-minded social scientists and nurturing collaborative partnerships among researchers..
The event attracted a diverse array of scholars, research practitioners, academics, and students from around the globe. Their presentations covered a wide spectrum of topics, including democracy and governance in developing nations, migration and xenophobia, poverty and inequality, sustainability, and the dynamics of rural and urban areas.
Dr Dlamini delivered a captivating presentation titled “Opportunities and Challenges for the Development of a Smart City: The Case of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa.” This presentation was co-authored with Ms. Mbali Letebele from the University of Johannesburg and Dr. Emmanuel Fundisi from eRKC, HSRC. It explored the possibilities for Johannesburg and other cities in the developing world to harness the potential of artificial intelligence, big data algorithms, and other technological advancements in order to implement smart governance and city management practices.
The presentation emphasized the relevance of these approaches in addressing the unique challenges faced by cities, particularly in South Africa, which often leads to public unrest. Challenges such as electricity shortages, threats to infrastructure, and governance issues were discussed in detail. Dr Dlamini’s presentation struck a chord with attendees who identified parallels with their own cities and engaged in discussions about potential solutions for developing smart cities in the global south.
Furthermore, the conference served as an excellent networking opportunity for Dr Dlamini and other researchers. It opened doors for future collaborations in the domains of governance, democracy, and spatial analysis. The research paper stemming from this presentation is currently undergoing peer review for possible publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. This participation at ICOSS 2023 reaffirms Dr Dlamini’s commitment to advancing the discourse on smart city development and fostering international partnerships in the field of social sciences.