Ukraine: Hampered by politics and funding


Good planning, poor implementation. Ukraine’s major cities have been planning Smart City projects for many years. But actual progress is slow because of a lack of financial resources and also slow administrative reforms.

Horizon 2020. The major technology improvement program, focusing on the government, and transparency and efficiency in state systems, is an EU-backed US$80 bln program.

Huge potential. It is accepted that the country, Kyiv and some of the other big cities in particular, has huge potential for technology and smart city spending. There are few or poor legacy systems in place and a clear need to modernize. Here also, the political and funding problems will have to be resolved before the money to fund the programs can be allocated.

Kyiv’s efforts are stalled. Kyiv’s project is the Smart City 2020 initiative. It is, however, struggling to get funding for the ambitious program. Many of the issues are wrapped up with the difficult political backdrop and the associated funding problems.

Kharkiv is further advanced. Although also hamstrung with funding issues, the country’s second city is more advanced than Kyiv with smart city programs. The city has a longer history as a successful IT center and has plenty of resources for the future.

Lviv could catch up fast. It is assumed that, partly because of its location and also because of the administrative innovations it has shown in recent years that Lviv could be a major center for smart city technology. Right now it has different priorities for available resources but that will change when the political impasse is resolved and the country integrates more with the EU (as is expected).

Already a big employer. The IT sector currently employs almost 100,000 people and this number is set to double within 3 years based on current plans.

Valuable export earner. The IT sector is the third-largest export segment in Ukraine. The total value of exports in 2017 was US$2.6 bln or 3% of the country’s GDP.