COMMENT: Government moving in the right ‘smart cities’ direction

The Chronicle

As the Government moves ahead with Vision 2030 which seeks to transform the country into upper middle-income status by that year, it is prioritising green development in that agenda.

It is building smart cities that will be oases of responsible development. As the name indicates, the cities would be smart, ambient, spacious, highly digitalised and powered by green energies.  

Melfort in Mashonaland East, Chirundu in Mashonaland West and Figtree in Matabeleland South have been picked for transformation into smart cities, tomorrow’s cities.

We cite the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Daniel Garwe in this edition noting progress at Figtree.   

The local authority, Bulilima Rural District Council has offered a 100-hectare for the development of the new city months after Cabinet resolved that the settlement, about 40km southwest of Bulawayo be transformed into a smart city. His ministry is working on the designs as well while the process of transferring land from relevant authorities is underway. Pension and provident funds and some banks have shown interest in participating in the transformation of Figtree into a more modern settlement.

“This transformation is anchored on digitisation and green energy use,” he said. The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities has endeavoured to move with time and adopt strategies that conform to the dictates of the digitised world and globalisation. In light of this, plans to develop smart cities are at an advanced stage. The Ministry has put requisite modalities in place and now awaits transfer of land from relevant authorities. Meanwhile, Bulilima Rural District Council has offered a 100ha farm to be incorporated into the smart city.”

This is the direction that the world has taken and the Government has decided that our country cannot be left behind.  Environmental sustainability, use of clean energies such as solar and wind as well as ambience are increasingly defining life not only in developed countries but also in developing ones.

Cde Daniel Garwe

Indeed, the Government is doing well by marshalling national development in that sustainable direction.

Bulilima Rural District Council has, too, done well by offering the land on which the smart city will be developed. That is a very crucial first step which demonstrates that the local authority is pro-development and is providing the framework before private developers move in to invest.

Minister Garwe notes that pension and provident funds as well as banks have shown an interest in putting their money into Figtree. We urge them to start working on preliminary work so that as soon as the land ownership transfers that Minister Garwe mentioned are done, they immediately deploy boots on the ground.  

We, too, expect investors in the renewables energy sector to start positioning themselves to move into Figtree. We are confident that as the smart city grows, there will be opportunities for investment in a solar park to meet its smart energy needs.  

This will be a digital city where modern technology will rule. Technology companies, established and emerging ones must see potential areas to invest there.  

Ordinary people should be ready as well to buy and quickly develop commercial and residential stands that we know will soon be available at Figtree.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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