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The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has shifted to the use of smart technologies that promote sustainability, public safety, energy efficiency, reduce congestion, ensure smart transportation, smart parking and intelligent water and sanitation services to improve on its service delivery.

Presenting his Valedictory Report for the period 2018 to 2023, the outgoing mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni said, guided by their goal of being a leading, smart, transformative city by 2024, the local authority was focused on the use of smart technologies that help create a better quality of life for the citizens.

“As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, drones have transformed workflows within the working space around the globe. The City of Bulawayo has adopted the use of innovative and efficient means of providing quality services to its stakeholders through incorporation of drones to its core activities.

“Driven by its vision ‘City of Kings, A Leading Smart Transformative City by the year 2024’ the organisation through its GIS section has managed to drive the initiative and has gone a step higher to have legally licensed drone operators to carry out drone missions. As a city, we have used drones for different purposes and services such as aerial mapping and videography, mapping and surveying, asset inspections and monitoring missions,” said Clr Mguni.

He said the focus going forward would be on the creation of a smart city with technologies that enable improvement of residents’ quality of life.

“As Bulawayo moves forward, we realise the need to tap into the world of the fourth industrial revolution and Artificial Intelligence to create systems that will help the city grow, reduce pollution and lead to healthier populations. The smart city concept initiated by my council realises that the future Bulawayo should become more resilient, make bolder climate commitments in a bid to curb climate change and ensure efficiency in the management and policy solutions.

“Smart cities bring together infrastructure and technology to improve the quality of life of citizens and enhance their interactions with the urban environment. The future of Bulawayo lies in the Smart City Concept,” said the Mayor.

Clr Mguni said the development of Bulawayo in the near future will also rest on upgrading economic infrastructure and increasing effectiveness and size of Government-to-business incentive programmes.

“Also important is the need to address the three key obstacles to local economic development which include; an operating environment that is ill equipped to support and enable innovation and entrepreneurship, both new and traditional and an absence of technical and entrepreneurial skills among the unemployed youth, hampering economic growth and entrepreneurship.

“To mitigate these challenges, the city’s vision emphasises on innovation and smart solutions, which include the introduction of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning in secondary and primary schools which also has to be motivated to cultivate interest in technological disciplines in children,” said the outgoing mayor.

Clr Mguni said for futuristic planning it was important to consider that the United Nations has predicted that 68 percent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050, this entailing growing environmental, societal and economical challenges.

“The City of Bulawayo has an important role in growing the local economy and providing the necessary services for its growth and development. The city has to provide a business-friendly environment which is conducive to fostering of entrepreneurship endeavours and private sector development at the local level.

“Over the past few years, we have realised that the city’s economy has moved from formal to informal with the growth and increase of Small to Medium Business Enterprises. One of the areas of focus has been to formalise the informal sector by providing platforms for improving entrepreneurship learning and education,” he said.

“The development of Bulawayo in the near future will also rest on upgrading economic infrastructure and increasing effectiveness and size of Government-to-business incentive programmes.”


Autor(en)/Author(s): Vusumuzi Dube

Quelle/Source: The Sunday News, 20.08.2023

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