Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Lagos Among 25 Most World Innovative Cities

Lagos may soon overtake Johannesburg as Africa's business hub, despite being weighed down by decaying and inadequate infrastructure.

Lagos State has made the shortlist of the 25 most innovative cities in the world. Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, made the final cut from an initial pool of 75 cities.

ULI will announce the final shortlist of three on October 25 while the winning city will be announced January 24, 2013.

The search to pick the world's most innovative city in 2012 was organised by Urban Land Institute (ULI), an authoritative and widely quoted source of objective information on urban planning, growth, and development in the world. The competition is sponsored by Citi Group, with media support from the Wall Street Journal.

Lagos is Nigeria's 'gate to the sea' accounting for 80 per cent of national seaport activity. Lagos GDP is $33 billion (N5 trillion) and accounts for roughly 25 per cent of Nigeria's overall GDP.

With 18 million inhabitants, Lagos is the most populated of the 25 cities. The only other African city that made the cut is Cape Town in South Africa.

Other cities on the list are London (UK), Shenzhen (China), Medelin (Colombia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Raleigh-Durham (USA), Toronto (Canada), Melbourne (Australia), Bratislavia (Slovakia), Hong Kong, San-Francisco (USA), Chicago (USA) and Berlin (Germany).

Completing the list are New York, Shanghai (China), Hamburg (Germany), Atlanta (USA), Tel Aviv (Israel), Boston (USA), Vancouver (Canada), Seattle (USA), Vienna (Austria), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Singapore.

According to ULI, despite the global financial crisis, each shortlisted city has "maintained innovative mindset and the capacity to adapt and re-imagine itself."

A statement from the organisers noted that the effort of the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola and his cabinet team was the main reason for the state's positive rating.

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