Realising ‘smart cities’ concept, a collaborative effort: Expert 

Source: Realising ‘smart cities’ concept, a collaborative effort: Expert -Newsday Zimbabwe

Global Renaissance Investment chief executive Ngoni Dzirutwe said conversation and implementation of the smart cities concept required concerted efforts from all parties involved to ensure it worked for Zimbabwe.

Making Zimbabwe a smart economy requires collaborative efforts of key stakeholders with the right policies and frameworks in place, a local financial advisory firm has said.

As Zimbabwe seeks to achieve an upper-middle-income economy by 2030, smart city development has become top of the agenda.

A smart city uses information communication technology to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide a better quality of government service and citizen welfare.

It aims to optimise city functions and promote economic growth, while also improving the quality of life for citizens by using smart technologies and data analysis.

Global Renaissance Investment chief executive Ngoni Dzirutwe said conversation and implementation of the smart cities concept required concerted efforts from all parties involved to ensure it worked for Zimbabwe.

Dzirutwe said this ahead of the Smart Cities and Devolution Masterclass 2024 slated for early March in Nyanga.

“This is a key component of achieving a smart economy by 2030 and no city should be left behind. However just like with any new concept, challenges are inevitable. That is the reason why we need all hands on the deck to ensure we take off,” he said.

“Thus, among other things, the masterclass will look at the policy and legal framework for making Zimbabwe a smart economy by 2030. This is key as it lays the groundwork to avoid future challenges, for example, the ongoing demolitions.”

Dzirutwe added that it was also key to come up with ways to survive municipal challenges such as waste and refuse collection, water provision and management of electricity, light provision, roads, construction and maintenance.

Two years ago, government allocated ZWL$43 billion under devolution to local authorities towards the upgrading of infrastructure to meet the agenda of smart cities.

However, without investment, smart cities will not happen.

Dzirutwe said it was also crucial for stakeholders to understand how to access funding and making bankable projects to African Development Bank, Shelter Afrique and United Nations Development Programme, among others.

“We will also look at how to align the municipal and devolution exercise to the national goals, risks of not being a smart economy, smart partnerships with investors as well as solving the housing challenges by 2030,” he said.

Government needs at least US$40 billion for its capital projects.

Local Government and Public Works minister Winston Chitando is expected to headline the masterclass along with National Housing and Social Amenities minister Daniel Garwe.

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