Plans to roll out City of Harare’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are at an advanced stage as stakeholders from Harare and twin city Munich held an implementation strategy workshop last month.
GIS is a system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the Earth’s surface. A user is able to see several different types of data on one map, enabling detailed comparative geographical analysis. For city councils, it has can play important roles in various departments including town planning, water, environment, health and others.
The workshop was attended by council officials, officials from the Geodata Service of Munich, as well as interested residents. In her keynote address at the workshop, the City’s Acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube said that Harare has embraced GIS technology as an information tool that will improve service delivery to residents. CoH will use the technology in revenue collection, asset management, and cost containment.
“The City of Munich started the transition from analogue maps on paper to digital maps more than 30 years ago, and now they have promised to help us not to repeat the same mistakes they made in their beginning years… City of Harare strives hard to become a World Class City by the year 2025, and to achieve that goal, a geographical information system is a state of the art innovation that will assist in propelling the City of Harare to achieve its vision,” said Ncube.
Harare’s Land Management and Development Manager Booker Masasi who is working on the integration of the GIS system on behalf of council emphasised how influential the GIS system will be. “GIS will have a bearing on about 80% of the decisions made by the local authority, and residents will be able to get most of the information they require from council online,” said Masasi.
The Head of Data Service Munich Sigrid Koneberg who is working with council officials in integrating the City’s GIS said that the integration of Harare’s geographic data will not only be beneficial to council, but to the government as well.
“GIS is important for decision making by local authorities and the government because most decisions are based on geo-data… This project is being done through the partnership between Munich and Harare. We have been using GIS for more than 30 years now while Harare is still at the beginning so we are supporting them (council) to increase their GIS,” said Koneberg.
Meanwhile Harare last month also celebrated 20 years of its twinning partnership with the City of Munich. While addressing delegates from the two cities that attended the anniversary celebrations that were held at the Zimbabwe German Society on 20 August, the Mayor of Harare Bernard Manyenyeni said that the City is grateful to Munich for the invaluable support it has extended to Harare over the years.
“The City has received refuse compactors, a generator, and medical supplies valued at over €500,000 during the height of the cholera outbreak in 2008. Through this partnership, we have (also) managed to implement the geographical information systems, improve our ICTs, done staff exchanges among a host of other benefits,” said Manyenyeni.
Image: Representatives from City of Harare: Mayor Manyenyeni, Acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube, and former Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda celebrate Harare and Munich’s 20-year partnership with their German counterparts.