Echo 4 cities: a reflection on World Cities Day

4th November 2017

This year the United Nations has a theme of ‘Innovative Governance, Open Cities’ which highlights the role of urbanisation as a source of global development and social inclusion. This is a part of an overarching theme of Better Cities, Better Life that the UN advocates.

Here are five ways in which Kiponzelo is developing in line with World Cities Day:


In Kiponzelo there has been a real drive towards greater structural developments. These changes can be witnessed throughout the village in the form of constructing a new village hall with a greater capacity which will allow for more activities to take place, and will lead to more civilian participation. This aims to promote greater social cohesion and inclusion within the community, and provides a place for organised social groups, such as Village Co-operative Banks known as VICOBAs, to meet.

The new village hall under construction in Kiponzelo, Iringa Rural.

Health Care

As well as the new village centre, Kiponzelo also has a hospital. The hospital was built in 1976 and was refurbished in the 1990s. It includes access to maternity care, paediatric care, treatment for STIs, including HIV, as well as TB treatment. This hospital gives the people of Kiponzelo and neighbouring communities good access to treatment for common illnesses, thus ensuring the goal of providing better access to services is met.



Students at Kiponzelo primary school, Iringa Rural.

Kiponzelo is home to a primary school and a secondary school for children between the ages of 5-18. This is excellent for the community as it provides education which leads to greater development in the village as the students, after they leave school, often put money and knowledge back into the community.


Women lead both Savings and Credit Cooperative societies or groups in the village, which shows that women have considerable decision-making power in the village and have the autonomy to form and lead groups.  Our lunch mamma, Stela Daudi is a member of the village VICOBA group, and she told us how it has helped her to “gain financial independence from my spouse and to grow my business from savings and then borrow larger sums from the larger SACCOs group which has helped my business take off.”

Raleigh’s Livelihoods programme

Raleigh’s entrepreneurship program in Kiponzelo will equip with the knowledge and skills to establish their own businesses which will help to grow the local economy. We aim to ensure that their businesses are supported even after we leave Kiponzelo, by providing them with seed funding and resources such as posters and information packs.

Rachel delivers a lesson for entrepreneurs in Kiponzelo, Iringa Rural.


Words by Echo 4. Images by Echo 4.

Youth Economic Empowerment Tanzania