Zimbabwe’s cities in spotlight at Dubai Expo

The Chronicle

Prisca Murwira in Dubai, UAE
Zimbabwe will next week host the Smart Cities and Innovation Conference and Exhibition during the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai. The conference will be held on November 14 in Dubai under the theme: “Unlocking Investment Opportunities in Zimbabwe’s Local Authorities.’’

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the Zimbabwe Pavilion Secretariat, led by the Commissioner General at Expo 2020, Ambassador Mary Mubi have put together the conference.

Expo 2020 Dubai commenced on October 1 2021 and is expected to end on March 31, 2022 in the United Arab Emirates.

Zimbabwe’s urban local authorities are expected to join the academia, experts in the construction industry and other representatives showcasing at the Expo to deliberate on finding solutions on how best to learn from and harness new technology and applications in the global village for the vantage of humanity.

Expo 2020 Dubai which is running under the theme: Connecting minds, Creating the future comes at a time Zimbabwe is engaging and re-engaging the international community. It seeks to learn how others have managed their projects, the funding mechanisms to sustain the projects and subsequently attract investment in the various spheres of the economy.

The deliberations should focus on investment opportunities in Zimbabwe’s local authorities, infrastructure development, devolution and local governance, the ease of doing business, seamless transportation system for all, renewable energy use, water and waste management, energy usage, surveillance, reliable smart infrastructure, among others.

The impact of the conference is expected to be immeasurable and in line with the Second Republic’s vision of attaining an empowered Upper Middle Income Society by 2030 that envisages a high quality of life for its citizenry.

Vision 2030 reflects the shared aspirations and determination of the people of Zimbabwe, aligned with Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Global Goals of not leaving anyone behind. Thirty-Two Urban Local Authorities in Zimbabwe are key in addressing the numerous service delivery challenges being experienced in most urban settings and building on the successes.

Under the new Dispensation, the Government is working towards building a thriving and open economy capable of creating investors and employment through putting together policies and measures to regain lost investor confidence.

Smart Cities are developed urban areas that create sustainable economic development and high quality of life to achieve sustainable, comfortable, and socially responsible living environments.

Some of the key aspects that make up a Smart City are solutions that look at the digitised economy embracing creativity and technology, smart economy which looks at technology interconnectedness and innovation within the country and the global village, smart governance which looks at e-governance, smart mobility which takes into account integrated ICTs in transport system, security and surveillance and smart environment which takes into account sustainable use of natural resources, renewable energy, water and waste management and embracing the use of ICTs in disaster risk management as the world grapples recurrent disasters, with Covid-19 being topical.

The Smart Cities and Innovation Conference will bring together high-powered decision makers from every part of the smart city ecosystem who are attending Expo 2020 Dubai, comprising city leaders, vendors, academics, researchers and non-profit organisations.

The Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Oliver Chidawu, town clerks and mayors of urban local councils are expected to take centre stage in the smart cities discussions as Zimbabwe seeks solutions and to learn from others who are in the same trajectory path.

The conference is expected to attract potential investors in the various key areas of local authorities guided by the Smart City Model for Local authorities in the six key clusters namely: smart economy, smart people, smart governance, smart mobility, smart environment and smart living.

The smart economy looks at harnessing technology for economic growth, urban planning, public health, among others. It is meant to generate more products and services with less energy and pollution as the world is vying for a green economy.

The initiative is a noble one as the Conference of the Parties (COP) recently met in the United Kingdom for the UN Conference on Climate Change, where Parties which are signatories to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change converged for COP26 to deliberate on how best to combat dangerous human interference with the climate ecosystem which saw Zimbabwe committing to a 40 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 across its economy compared with its previous target of 33 percent emissions reduction.

The uptake and use of ICTs has greatly increased in recent years resulting in bridging the digital gap between urban and rural areas. The Government introduced a strategy, the Smart Zimbabwe Master Plan which is an ICT strategy that guides the industry on the specific innovations to be exploited in the digital future and these include but not limited to Smart Cities, Smart Agriculture, Smart Education, Smart Transport, Smart Health, Smart Tourism, and Smart Mining, Smart Borders, Smart Trade and Commerce.

The Smart Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan calls for a new paradigm shift where Government should remove duplication and streamline the management and coordination of ICT through a new and well-structured institutional arrangement in efforts to transform the country through use of ICTs so that Zimbabwe attains its Vision of becoming an Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030.

The plan envisages to have digital Government, economy and society for improved service delivery.

Prisca Murwira is a senior information officer in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services


Source link : https://www.chronicle.co.zw/zimbabwes-cities-in-spotlight-at-dubai-expo/

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Publish date : 2021-11-11 22:43:47

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