Have you been to Harare lately and witnessed traffic congestion? Driving on Harare streets is now a nightmare especially during peak hours. The number of registered cars is estimated to be 700.000 and they keep rising everyday with new imports of mostly second hand cars coming from Japan. What is the future going to be like in 5-10 years time? If town planners and policy makers do not take drastic measures then Harare will be like Nairobi or Dare-salaam where during peak hours travelers can spend more than 3 hours in traffic jams to travel distances of less than 30 kilometres.
Anticipating more traffic trouble, our forum discussed about the possibility of a new city which is far from Harare and Selous is one of the places proposed.
Advantages of Selous
Access to land |Access to water |Access to railway transport |Access to busy highway| 73 kilometers from Harare
How about a modern city that can become a technological hub for Zimbabwe-our own Silicon valley? We can invite private land developers to develop high class residential and commercial buildings. Top colleges to set up campuses, top ICT giants to set up warehouses, amusement parks, top Hotels and Conference centers, financial institutions, world class shopping malls etc
A modern city built in post independence Zimbabwe showcasing the brilliance of Zimbos. Who can fund the built up of the city?
1. Multinational companies
3. Locals (individuals and groups)
4. Local institutions, Old Mutual, NSSA and other financial institutions.
So no one can really say the Government has no money because its role will be to provide the strategic direction, provision of legislative framework, provision of the land and other resources.
We take advantage of the Export Processing Zone concept and develop a city that is anchored on the services economy. The nearby Chengeta Safari lodge means there is more room for tourism.
We can spend the whole day talking of benefits but think in terms of a regional powerhouse for commercial services. Contribution to the economy, job creation, forex generation, employment creation. All of this without taking funds from the treasury!
This has been an issue we have been talking about for several decades but little done to date. We are still exporting raw materials to Durban, how about inviting investors to set up plants here?
Remember we are not saying we should abandon investment in other regions but this can be a great model which can be replicated across the country.
If the concept seems far fetched then look at the Catembe Bridge under construction in Mozabique. It is creating new opportunities on an island across Maputo.
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