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Wednesday, 5.10.2022
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Another day, yet another developmental milestone in the short, but development hyperactivity life of the New Dispensation.

At this rate, very soon we will start losing count or get tired of counting because of the fast rate at which developmental programmes are being initiated.

In fact, the Second Republic has brought a new culture and new worldview to development in Zimbabwe, making the concept a part of the daily lives of the people.

So, this week, the buzzword has been “cyber city”, a name that is rarely discussed among Zimbabweans, but now set to feature prominently, thanks to investment friendly policies of President Mnangagwa’s administration.

It is now public knowledge that Zimbabwe is set to have its first cyber city aptly named Zim Cyber City in Mt Hampden, just outside Harare.

With the ground breaking done by President Mnangagwa at the site on Wednesday, there is no going back on the establishment of this new city that is set to bring Zimbabwe at par with other countries in terms of the use of information communication technology (ICT).

The city is being spearheaded by United Arab Emirates billionaire Mr Shaji Ul Mulk, who has been telling everyone who cares to listen how he has been charmed by President Mnangagwa’s clarity of policy on investments.

What makes this city more significant is its proximity to the imposing New Parliament Building, just two or three kilometres away.

Together with the New Parliament Building, the Zim Cyber City is going to be counted as among the first to be established in an area where a whole new city is emerging.

There is no doubt that very soon, business will be shifting focus to the new city that is emerging in Mt Hampden, and the development of the Zim Cyber City gives a glimpse of how this city is shaping up.

ICT is the way to go for any country that intends to be futuristic, and this is the basis of the Zim Cyber City.

But many could have wondered how exactly a cyber city looks like, and how it is different from the ordinary cities people are used to.

Various definitions list a cyber city as a city with a strong basis in information communication technology, with its main elements defined by technology infrastructure.

In that regard, all activities in the city, including the institutions and day to day business are centred on the use ICTs to enhance operations.

In this regard, people can easily share information through easy interaction and exchange of ideas, while conducting their businesses in a fast and efficient way.

In such a way, internet connectivity is the anchor of such a city’s bustling business life, as there is easy access to connectivity, uplifting the business of sectors such as healthcare, retail, utility, construction and education.

ICT has since proved that it can be harnessed for economic success, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution mainly anchored on how a country manages to apply the new technologies to its advantage.

With the benefits of ICT cutting across various sectors, there will be easy interaction among all industries, hence contributing to improving the ease of doing business.

In this sense, it has been proved that a cyber city can help contribute to Gross National Income, growth of IT experts, enhanced employment generation and intelligent service delivery.

Leveraging on ICT, cyber cities make it much easier to deliver services to the people.

The increase in the use of Internet in the early 1990s led to the incorporation of ICTs to the daily activities of the people, as modern information communication technologies started to dominate.

It has been observed that this proliferation of the use of the Internet led to the transformation of several cities around the world into cyber cities.

These include Chicago, New York and Los Angeles in the United States, Gurgoun in India, Tokyo in Japan and Singapore City.

Just like these cities, when the Zim Cyber City eventually begins to function, Zimbabwe will start adopting new approaches of doing business with an enhanced incorporation of ICTs.

The Zim Cyber City will be a smart city that employs the latest technologies in managing its business with excellent deliverables in the transport system, water supply system, waste removal and other activities that make the city function efficiently.

This will give room to other cities that can easily tap on the effectiveness of the Zim Cyber City for various lessons on employing ICTs to enhance operations.

The existing cities like Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo and other towns can actually start exploring ways to adapt their existing infrastructures to ICTs, to function in a smart way.

The presence of the Zim Cyber City is expected to lead to the quality and efficiency of the information communication technology network drastically improving, as the major anchor of a cyber city is the availability of efficient networks.

This improvement of the technology at the Zim Cyber City will have a rub-on effect on other areas, as network providers upgrade their systems to improve efficiency.

Other service providers like those in power generation and supply will have to up their game to ensure there is an uninterrupted availability of electricity to avoid the disruption of activities.

It is important that President Mnangagwa reminded everyone of where the country is headed in terms of the use of ICTs when he performed the ground breaking ceremony for the Zim Cyber City on Wednesday.

“Fuelled by continuous improvements in ICTs and mobile internet infrastructure, as well as reduction of barriers due to technology, the world, as we know it, is fast changing,” he said. “Hence, as a country, we are obligated to speedily adopt and adapt. This Cyber-City, is thus part of the efforts we are embarking on to help to leapfrog our economy into the information and knowledge age, in line with the dictates of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by the use of new technologies to drive development.

It is a realisation that traditional methods of doing business are no longer sustainable in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and the services industry.

As a result, cyber cities like the Zim Cyber City will complete other efforts in the area of innovation like the innovation hubs that have been set up at various universities by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.

Such innovation capacity would hardly be achieved without the use of ICTs.

The evolution of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is anchored on the other industrial revolutions that took the world by storm in the past.

These are the First Industrial Revolution, the Second Industrial Revolution and the Third Industrial Revolution.

The First Industrial Revolution defined the beginning of mechanisation in which industrialists used water and steam power to enhance their production.

After that came the Second Industrial Revolution, which instead of relying on water and steam power, the industrialists used electric energy for mass production of goods, as the machines were moving faster.

The Third Industrial Revolution involved the use of automation through electronics and information technology to enhance mass production.

Now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by the blending of several technologies at a much faster speed than ever anticipated.

This technological advancement has already shown its characteristics of disrupting the usual way of doing things, ushering in high speed technologies that have changed the world view.

This is why developing countries like Zimbabwe have to catch up with the rest of the world, or risk being left behind.

The establishment of cyber cities like Zim Cyber City and many other technological advances achieved by the Second Republic are efforts in the right direction to ensure Zimbabwe harnesses ICTs to enhance its developmental agenda.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Lovemore Chikova

Quelle/Source: The Herald, 22.07.2022

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