Smart Cities: Zimbabwe policymakers challenged

By Staff reporter | 11 Dec 2018 at 21:25hrs
Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Ellen Gwaradzimba (Centre) visits TelOne stand flanked by TelOne executives during the Smart Cities Summit and Expo held in Mutare on Saturday
LOCAL policymakers have been challenged to craft smart controls which stand as enablers in local towns as the country moves in to adopt Smart City Concepts.

The Smart City Concept is backed by the use of technology to improve on transport networks, energy efficiency and urban management that local towns have adopted.

Speaking during the launch and summit held in Mutare on Saturday, Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister, Ellen Gwaradzimba, said the concept is the future for development.

"The concept of Smart Cities is rooted in the implementation of user-friendly information and communication technologies developed by major industries for urban spaces.

"Like other Smart Cities, we aspire to be forward-looking, progressive and resource efficient while providing the same high quality of life.

"We are fostering new ways of transforming our cities beyond simply feeding and clothing citizens, the government is ready to unleash and solve the many problems that we face today in our cities," she said.

The Minister said Smart Cities will promote new forms of governance.

"As devolution dawns before us, we want to promote new forms of governance and public participation, by making intelligent decisions at a strategic level so as to become Smart.

"Becoming a Smart City is no longer an option or an ideal of aesthetics but a requirement that allows our cities to forcefully tackle current global challenges," she said.

The Summit brought different players together ranging from Government officials, town mayors, investors specialising in smart city service provision.

Among those who gave provisions included Astro Mobile chief executive officer, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo and ZTA chief operating officer Givemore Chidzidzi among others.

Telecoms entity, TelOne who were also part of the organisers also took time to exhibit their Neo Face Recognition system.

According to the company's Innovation Executive, Jeremiah Munembe, they are set to create a Smart City Ecosystem.

"We have one of the biggest data network in the country and as we move to adopt the smart city concepts, we look to attract tourists to the country by providing efficiency in a safe environment.

"Through our Neo Face Recognition system our network and application will provide video surveillance and traffic analytics to fight crime and recklessness on the roads.

"The system will expose criminals and will be an easy way to have a Smart City, our many users will also have a chance to login from wherever they are and create their profiles," he said.

Munembe said they had also partnered with Manicaland province to implement their Smart City Concept.

He said they are engaging with Home Affairs and still to see that their system be installed at the international airport and at Victoria Falls airport.

Through the Smart City concept, cabinet last week approved the reorganization of Mbare (Harare), Sakubva (Mutare) and (Bulawayo) suburbs.

The event was jointly hosted by Mutare City and The Chartered Institute of Project Managers Zimbabwe, Citizens



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