Tonderai Rutsito
Huawei this week demonstrated its technological prowess by unveiling innovative ICT safe city solutions at the Safe City Africa Summit in Cape Town. The technology allows monitoring of incidents in different parts of cities before, during and after through the use of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The technology is already fully functional in 30 countries serving 400 million citizens in 100 various cities of the world.

With the current speed upgrades by Liquid Telecom, TelOne, Powertel and Telco, Zimbabwe and Harare in particular is now ready for the installation of such a smart and safe system to curb crime and ensure the safety to its citizens.

The technology seamlessly integrates LTE broadband trunking, video surveillance, Unified Communications (UC), and video conferencing systems with a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to achieve the visualisation of command and dispatch.

Leveraginmakg, the intelligent video analysis system based on big data, the solution can quickly and precisely extract clues from massive volumes of videos.

This facilitates active prevention before incidents, quick response during incidents and precise retrieval after incidents in public areas.

Huawei, however, highlighted that the decision to install the new technology in Zimbabwe rests with the Government and other stakeholders.

Addressing more than 400 industry members Huawei’s president for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr Li Peng, said innovative ICT infrastructure is the foundation upon which the safe smart cities is built and their focus is to ensure safe cities in Africa.

“In 2015, the ‘Year of China’ in South Africa, Huawei would like to reiterate our commitment to work hand-in-hand with our partners to provide Africa with innovative one-stop safe city solution. These solutions will help to build safer and more harmonious urban residential, business and tourism environments to attract investment and increase employment for sustainable economic development.

“These solutions will help to build safer and more harmonious urban residential, business and tourism environments to attract investment and increase employment for sustainable economic development,” he said.

The acceleration of global urbanisation and the proliferation of the internet will drive the convergence of ICT and urban infrastructure.

Countries worldwide are actively formulating plans for the development of safe and smart cities to seize new opportunities generated by global urbanisation.

At the summit, safe city project leaders from many countries including Madagascar, Kenya, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom shared their experience on ICT best practices to enhance public safety with innovative ICT.

Mr Randimbisoa Blaise Richard, Minister of Public Safety of Madagascar, said: “As a multicultural country, Madagascar has gone to great efforts to meet the increasing requirements of economic growth and social stability triggered by the acceleration of globalisation.

“Our major responsibilities are to maintain social order and combat crime, working to ensure that Madagascar is a safe country to live, travel and invest in.

“To this end, we chose to co-operate with Huawei and adopt its safe city solution to protect both the lives and property of our residents, leveraging Huawei’s cutting-edge technology and consummate service in 2013.”

Mr Richard Chace, chairman of the Global Security Industry Alliance (GSIA), shared his insights from the perspective of global safe city standards and trends.

He said: “I’m very focused on how urbanisation trends around the world are driving the specification and implementation of safe city technologies and solutions.

“I feel very strongly that successful safe city programmes build heavily on well developed public-private partnerships that are designed to be ‘win-win’.

“The best use of technology is the one driven by sound planning that first seeks to define problems and then match the right manageable solutions for the long term.”

Forrester Research principal analyst Ms Jennifer Belissent spoke about the role of ICT solutions in protecting a city’s safety and making cities safer and smarter.

She said: “Urbanisation means that a growing population depends on cities to meet their social, environmental and economic needs. Safety is fundamental to those needs, and public safety is a concern of city leaders — whether it’s preventing crime, reducing infant mortality or mitigating the effects of natural disasters.

“Better access to data and new analytics tools makes that job easier. A safe city not only improves live-ability, but also encourages economic growth and ensures sustainable development. And, that makes safety a key element of any smart city.”

The writer is the editor for TechnoMag. More in-depth on www.technomag.co.zw