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Saturday, 2.07.2022
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The advent of 5G (Fifth generation) technology is expected to propel smart city technology into the mainstream and accelerate new deployments through the internet of things.

The internet of things (IoT) describes physical objects with sensors, processing ability, software and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet or other communication networks. In a presentation at the Zimbabwe Smart Cities and Rural Communities Infrastructure Forum 2022, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) Economics, Tariffs and Consumer Affairs director, Mrs Hilda Mutseyekwa said the first building block of any smart city was reliable, pervasive wireless connectivity.

“In addition to people, dwellings, commerce, and traditional urban infrastructure, there are five essential elements necessary for thriving smart cities that include pervasive wireless connectivity, innovation, security, flexible monetization schemes and cross sector collaboration. The advent of 5G technology is expected to be a watershed event that propels smart city technology into the mainstream and accelerates new deployments through IoT,” she said.

Mrs Mutseyekwa said the role of telecommunication operators in the smart city concept was to improve access to connectivity, enabling services and full-service delivery.

She said with Zimbabwe having formally launched its smart city blueprint named the Zimbabwe Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative in March 2018 in line with the Vision 2030 Agenda, the operating model being pursued was the Public Private Partnership model.

“Zimbabwe Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative Green paper lists access to clean water, beautification of the city, improved health delivery, and the establishment of a sufficient public transport as some of the objectives of Zimbabwe’s attempts to create smart cities. The Zimbabwe ICT policy and supporting legislation such as SI 137 of 2016 on Infrastructure Sharing are some of the key enabling legal frameworks,” said Mrs Mutseyekwa.

TelOne Infrastructure and Wholesale divisional director, Engineer Leonard Nkala said they have been given the mandate by Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services to implement smart city, safe city solutions.

“These will be covering traffic monitoring and control, violation detections, smart parking, local Councils revenue assurance, crime detection, traffic fines collection, assurance and reporting platforms. Plans to fulfil the Zimbabwe 2030 smart agenda anchored on Innovation and Digital transformation. Implementation of Smart Cities fulfills TelOne vision of rolling out Data Centric products in line with its diversification thrust. Provision of high-tech policing equipment including 24hr cameras in major urban centres in order to enhance traffic policing,” said Eng Nkala.

He said TelOne had various technology capabilities to contribute to the smart city,safe city solutions that include its wide fibre footprint in Zimbabwe of 4 046 km, with the fibre network configured in self-healing rings to provide for redundancy in the network and ensure that in the event of failure there is connectivity through alternate routes. Eng Nkala said they also had 2 073km Microwave Radio which formed part of the backbone network and TelOne had multiple Internet gateways through Beitbridge, Plumtree and Mutare, which offer consistent, high-capacity access to users globally.

He however, said they required support from Councils around the country as they needed approvals for TelOne to be mandated with deployment of smart city solutions for city councils.

Meanwhile, presenting on smart procurement solutions for inclusive smart cities, Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) chief executive officer Mr Clever Ruswa said: “Efficient and effective public procurement systems significantly influence the provision of Government services like the provision of roads, hospitals, healthcare, sanitation, telecommunication facilities, education, and environmental protection, factors necessary for the creation of smart cities.”

He said smart cities were guided by the essential elements of good public procurement which are transparent, fair, non-discriminatory, competitive, accountable, efficient use of public funds, and verifiable. While integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development social, environmental and economic.

Speaking after the forum, one of the organisers, financial advisory firm, Deat Capital managing director Mr Nicky Moyo, said he was happy with engagement from different stakeholders who converged to discuss smart cities and rural applications.

“Uncertainties of the post-pandemic have compelled cities and rural communities to focus more on developing collaborative, data-driven infrastructure to provide healthcare facilities. This is crucial for the attainment of Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 goals.

Due to the tremendous rise in population, cities and rural communities all around the world are facing complex social, economic and environmental challenges requiring innovative solutions that include infrastructure planning, and governance.”


Autor(en)/Author(s): Judith Phiri

Quelle/Source: Zimbabwe Situation, 08.05.2022

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