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Harare To Become Zimbabwe’s Silicon Valley

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Harare To Become Zimbabwe’s Silicon Valley

Every modern economy wants its own version of Silicon Valley and Zimbabwe the urge to find or create one is just as strong. Although the country’s pedigree as an innovator is in doubt, adapting to the digital age has proven a challeng.

According to Acting President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, the Government has a comprehensive devolution master plan that will see provinces assigned specific economic development responsibilities.

The grand plan will see Harare becoming the Silicon Valley of Zimbabwe.

“This devolution, which will give responsibilities to all our provinces and metropolitan authorities, is a constitutional obligation. This entails the democratic participation in government by all citizens and communities in Zimbabwe, where province will run their own affairs using the resources which are at their disposal.” He said.

Zimbabwe’s economy has long been dominated by mining and agriculture, particularly with the export of cash crops like tobacco and cotton.

“For instance, Harare metropolitan province we have declared to be the ICT centre; that is what it will specifically be doing. Not that we are saying there will be no manufacturing. There will be heavy industries and there will be special economic zones – I think one or two now are being opened – but its flagship responsibility is to be the ICT centre. Employment will be created along those and other ancillary activities.” Chiwenga added.

But it’s not all straightforward for Zimbabwe’s tech and smart city ambitions as the cost of internet in the country is high, especially when stacked against the country’s economic performance.

For what it’s worth, the government has a good track record when it comes to prioritising ICT delivery. Last year they unveiled the ICT Innovation fund and least month they reduced data rated.  As such, the proposed hub will serve as further evidence of their position towards ICT development in Zimbabwe.

However, building a smart city isn’t a stress-free thing to do. Many factors come into play and ultimately, it depends on the balance of objectives or vision of what the committees want the city to achieve.

Every modern economy wants its own version of Silicon Valley and Zimbabwe the urge to find or create one is just as strong. Although the country’s pedigree as an innovator is in doubt, adapting to the digital age has proven challenging.

According to Acting President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, the Government has a comprehensive devolution master plan that will see provinces assigned specific economic development responsibilities.

The grand plan will see Harare becoming the Silicon Valley of Zimbabwe.

“This devolution, which will give responsibilities to all our provinces and metropolitan authorities, is a constitutional obligation. This entails the democratic participation in government by all citizens and communities in Zimbabwe, where province will run their own affairs using the resources which are at their disposal.” He said.

Zimbabwe’s economy has long been dominated by mining and agriculture, particularly with the export of cash crops like tobacco and cotton.

“For instance, Harare metropolitan province we have declared to be the ICT centre; that is what it will specifically be doing. Not that we are saying there will be no manufacturing. There will be heavy industries and there will be special economic zones – I think one or two now are being opened – but its flagship responsibility is to be the ICT centre. Employment will be created along those and other ancillary activities.” Chiwenga added.

But it’s not all straightforward for Zimbabwe’s tech and smart city ambitions as the cost of internet in the country is high, especially when staked against the country’s economic performance.

For what it’s worth, the government has a good track record when it comes to prioritising ICT delivery. Last year they unveiled the ICT Innovation fund and least month they reduced data rated.  As such, the proposed hub will serve as further evidence of their position towards ICT development in Zimbabwe.

However, building a smart city isn’t a stress-free thing to do. Many factors come into play and ultimately, it depends on the balance of objectives or vision of what the committees want the city to achieve.

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Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the "mysticism" from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.

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