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Smart cities are becoming an increasingly relevant topic in Zimbabwe as urban populations grow and technology becomes more widely available. Cities are already implementing smart city solutions to improve infrastructure, enhance public safety, and reduce environmental impact. The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities has made “tremendous progress on smart city development.” 

In 2022, the Victoria Falls Local Authority installed 100 solar-powered streetlights on Livingstone Way1 in line with attaining smart city status. The installation of solar-powered streetlights also led to reduced cases of human-wildlife conflicts, which were a norm. Also to ensure sustainable environmental protection and resilience, Victoria Falls plans to have zero-emission and climate-neutral activities, which could make it the first “green city” in the country with fewer gas emissions. 

The Bulilima Rural District Council set aside 100 hectares for the Figtree smart city concept, to be driven by Information and Communication Technology2. The planned development is guided by the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy, which will see the construction of modern, sustainable, and affordable human settlements. 

In line with achieving the smart city concept by 2024, the City of Bulawayo plans to revive the cycling culture and decongest the central business district3. A cycling culture promotes healthy living and reduces carbon emissions. The move was inspired by developed countries such as Spain, which encourage cycling as a lifestyle. 

The Melfort smart city in Mashonaland East Province has secured investors with construction set to gather pace. The municipality will include digital technology and green energy innovations in the concept. Mount Hampden and Chirundu will adopt the smart city concept.4 

An African city that is making strides in executing the smart city concept is Kigali, Rwanda, which rolled out tech-hub companies, smart streetlights, air quality sensors, electric vehicles, and public transport. 

As the demand for smart city solutions continues to increase, the public and private sectors should come together to develop and implement solutions, that benefit the environment and citizens. 

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