MUTARE- The City of Mutare has been selected to participate in the initial edition of the Multi-City Challenge Africa competition which seeks to unveil solutions for urban life problems affecting local authorities dotted around the African continent.
City of Mutare is the first local authority from Zimbabwe and Southern Africa to take part in the challenge and will compete for honors against Kano from Nigeria, Kampala from Uganda, Accra from Ghana and Bahir Dar from Ethiopia.
The City of Mutare's Multi-City Challenge coordinating committee chairperson Kimberley Sithole told TellZim News that the competition was very significant in showcasing the Zimbabwean brand at an international stage.
"We highly treasure recognition of the local authority beyond our borders. It has been very hard to sell the brand Zimbabwe on the international arena and this stand as a chance to reshape people's perceptions towards our country.
"We are raising the Zimbabwean flag high since we were selected among other cities like Johannesburg, Lusaka, Maputo and others," said Sithole.
She said the challenge offers a platform for Zimbabwean residents and citizens to exercise their right to expression by revealing ideas which will be assessed at an international level.
"We are embarking on an open challenge starting on November 4 and ending on December 4. It’s a crucial stage in the entire multi-city challenge whereby residents, stakeholders, academia, researchers, experts, people in the media and corporate sector to uncover solutions to problems identified in the initial stage.
"It is an opportunity for young think-tanks to showcase their brilliant ideas by just a click on the website. We urge all Zimbabweans and diasporas to validate our country's intellect," said Sithole.
The Multi-City Challenge Africa, which is a build up to the fruitful implementation of the Multi-City Challenge model in Latin America, the US and Europe, provides an opportunity for African city leaders to work with others by sharing experiences from communities through robust public engagement efforts across cities.
The prestigious International Cities Challenge was modeled by a Singapore-based Governance Lab in 2016 and after being pioneered in South America it was then transformed into a Multi-city Challenge.
The African version provides a platform for public servants to establish workable solutions needed to resolve challenges of urban life through extensive citizen engagement.
City of Mutare spokesperson Spren Mutiwi said the competition is no longer for Mutare alone as they are carrying the national flag.
"We are focusing on urban resilience and we urge all stakeholders including citizens to participate in the open challenge under the City of Mutare banner. We need to raise the flag of Zimbabwe hence this is no longer a Mutare issue," said Mutiwi.
The Multi-City Africa Challenge is being organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development and the Governance Lab (GovLab) at New York University Tandon School of Engineering.