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Plans are underway to establish at least three unique smart cities in Hwange District and work has already started, Engineer Andrew Muchechetere, group executive chairman of AMRE Investments has said.

Addressing delegates at the 10th CEO Africa Roundtable conference yesterday, Eng Muchechetere emphasised the importance of developing a smart city in the district due to the availability of prime land.<

He was speaking on the topic: “Transitioning from Colonial to Modern Cities: Seizing Opportunities for the Development of African Modern Cities”.

“We approached Hwange Rural District Council and we said we wanted land to build a new smart city for Victoria Falls.

“Everyone is talking about Victoria Falls with its tourism and what will happen when there is no tourism? We took a simple approach and said to Hwange Rural District Council officials, we want to develop a smart city with unique infrastructure. For now, we have plans for three district cities,” said Eng Muchechetere.

He said once approved by Cabinet, construction starts.

Eng Muchechetere said there was abundant land under rural local authorities, which is idle and that presents vast opportunities.

“We need to create as a nation a policy for rural development. New centres should develop based on what is available,” added Eng Muchechetere.

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

According to CEO Africa Roundtable, Africa is a continent in transition, particularly on the infrastructure front with some significant strides made towards modernising the African cities.

The infrastructure gap alone is immense and closing it will require more than doubling the existing investment estimated at between $130 and $170 billion per year, the bulk of it deployed in cities.

Participants said there is a need to have a one-stop-shop processing authority for land development and reduced turnaround time for approval of development permits. They stressed the need to harness renewable energy in new cities.

In her contribution, Zim Cyber City chief executive officer, Tendayi Hlupo Mamvura said: “The issue of legislation becomes the most single problem in real estate as the sector is governed by 1977 Town Planning Act. We are trying to build smart cities with new technology but the 1977 legislation does not provide for that.”

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Nqobile Bhebhe

Quelle/Source: chronicle, 14.06.2024

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