Developing a Cyber City for the Global Market

By Akindele Akinyemi

In 2015, 70% of global growth came from developing and emerging market countries; Africa ranked third after China and India in terms of growth rates. Various companies from developing and emerging markets are increasingly the source of corporate leadership and business innovations. Developing and emerging markets are incubators for the companies growing from within.

However, in order to create a competitive, world-class knowledge economy we will need to develop a plan that includes substantial investment. We must remind our state lawmakers that the government’s job is to remove the barriers preventing investment in R&D and education by the private sector. At the same time, Michigan must cut through the tangle of red tape that makes it impossible to get anything done.

The need for cyber security firms and start-up businesses in depleted local urban communities like Inkster, Michigan are needed to help redevelop a solid tax base as well as increasing the median income. Why should cities like Inkster turn to the cyber security market to help rebuild its tax base? I can give you several reasons why.

  • Cybersecurity Ventures projects $1 trillion will be spent globally on cybersecurity from 2017 to 2021.
  • Global healthcare cybersecurity market size is expected to reach nearly $10.8 million by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.
  • Worldwide spending on information security will reach $75 billion for 2015, an increase of 4.7​%​ over 2014, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc.

Cyber security is a growing concern for many organizations – as technology evolves, so will the nature and prevalence of cyber threats. Let’s face it, cyber security has become a part of our day-to-day lives and it is something that can have a negative impact on both individuals and organizations. Therefore, communities like Inkster should pay close attention to developing a cyber market for new residents who will continue to move into the city to help develop sustainable long-term economic growth: effective education, social stability, incentives for taking risks and integration with the global economy.

Which is why local urban communities must look at developing Cyber City concepts for redevelopment, job production and sustainability efforts. Connecting Cyber Cities to local economies would serve as a physical location and a center to help nurture and support the growth of ICT and ICT-enabled industries and extending its benefits to the local community’s tax base. In addition, implementing the proven concept of industry clustering, which is locating similar technology companies within the same geographical area to fuel economic growth, by raising the level of innovation, development and competencies, both on a regional and national level.

The State of Michigan should follow the State of Maryland’s lead on the Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit (CIITC). This program in Maryland provides a refundable income tax credit to Qualified Maryland Cybersecurity Companies (QMCCs) that secure investment from investors. The purpose of this new program is to incentivize and attract cyber security companies to startup in or move to Maryland.

In addition, a Cyber City concept will fuel our economic urban infrastructure between spending and consumption, between domestic and foreign demand, between financial innovation and technological innovation, between rapid growth and sustainable development and between globalization and regional integration.

The time to think at a very low level to rebuild our cities have passed. Quick money, fast cash and the lack of innovation will continue to keep our local urban communities behind in the 21st century. A Cyber City would diversify our population and make education, trade and skills a top priority in our respective communities. We have to move our local urban communities here in Michigan into the global market if we want to survive.

 Akindele Akinyemi is the National Co-Director of the National Africa Business Association. For more information please visit the website at nabaempowers.org or email at info@nabaempowers.org