The Chronicle

‘Innovation key to economic growth’

Clr Solomon Mguni

Peter Matika

Innovation is key to attaining Zimbabwe’s aspirations in the realisation of sustainable development goals, African Agenda 2063, the country’s vision 2030 and Bulawayo City’s vision of being a smart and transformative city by 2024, the Mayor of Bulawayo Councillor Solomon Mguni said yesterday.

Welcoming local and foreign guests to this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) at a reception hosted by the local authority last night, Clr Mguni said there is a need to embrace innovation to transform communities.

“The challenges of Covid-19 have taught us several lessons and this is why this year’s trade showcase is being held under the theme: ‘Transformative. Innovation: Global Competitiveness. Transformative innovation is calling on all of us to ensure that we significantly transform our societies through innovation, sustainable solutions and accelerated progress especially towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals, African agenda 2063, Zimbabwe’s vision 2030 and indeed the City of Bulawayo’s vision of being a smart and transformative city by 2024,” said Clr Mguni in a speech read by his deputy, Clr Mlandu Ncube.

He said Zimbabwe was, however, far from realising a circular economy transition for future sustainability hence the need to utilise technology as it has the power to drive robust transformation.

“Digital transformation presents an opportunity for local governments such as ourselves to transition to modernity and innovation. Innovation is one of the City of Bulawayo’s values and our focus is creating new business realities and exploring innovative opportunities for our residents and stakeholders”, said Clr Mguni.

He said council was focused on creating a conducive environment for businesses and industry and this called for councillors and management to rise to the occasion.

Clr Mguni said the City of Bulawayo has noted that its growth and space in the global economy required the development of local innovations tailor-made for the residents of Bulawayo.

“The opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution will allow us to compete globally. Our showcase at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is on home-grown solutions whereby we have implemented technology in our locality in the services we provide in order to ensure a smart and transformative city,” said Clr Mguni.

He said council had taken time to understand the needs of its stakeholders that include residents and designed transformative workflows that truly maximise technology to ease challenges.

Clr Mguni said digital technology was key to improving service delivery at both local and central Government level.

“As we hold this year’s trade fair it is my hope that we also learn and share our experiences on transformative innovation and how we can transition to sustainability, reduce the effects of climate change and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Clr Mguni.