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Japan gives Zimbabwe US$ 17.4m for road upgrade

by Staff reporter
13 Mar 2024 at 05:12hrs | Views
Last Friday, Japan and Zimbabwe finalized an agreement for the improvement of the North-South Corridor Phase 2 road.

Funded by Japan, the construction between Makuti and Hell's Gate (Mana Pools turnoff) will receive a grant of US$17.44 million.

In a signing ceremony held in Harare, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, Japanese ambassador Shinichi Yamanaka, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative to Zimbabwe Shigeki Furuta represented the two countries.

Japan's financing of the project bolsters the government's efforts in enhancing road infrastructure nationwide. This initiative coincides with the ongoing reconstruction of the Harare-Chirundu road.

Under the supervision of JICA engineers, the Japan-funded project will be implemented by the Department of Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.

According to a statement by JICA, the Phase 2 project includes widening curves, improving vertical and horizontal alignment, and constructing hill-climbing lanes. Additional works involve building drainage and safety facilities such as crash barriers and road signs.

The North-South Corridor serves as a critical international trunk road vital for Zimbabwe's trade with neighboring countries and regional trade. Forecasted by the African Union (AU) to become one of the continent's busiest transport corridors by 2040, its importance has been underscored by increased efforts towards regional economic integration through bodies like SADC and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

At the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) in August 2022, Japan and African countries reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring quality infrastructure along significant trade corridors.

Addressing a major bottleneck of the North-South Corridor, Phase 2 aims to enhance trade and integration while promoting Zimbabwe's economic and social development. The project will also strengthen the capacity of Department of Roads staff by sharing Japan's expertise in traffic safety measures, road improvement, and maintenance.

Furthermore, JICA is working on a project to reduce delays at the Chirundu One-Stop Border Post, thus facilitating smoother movement of people and goods across borders.

By integrating the principles of Quality Infrastructure Investment (QII) into its cooperation with Zimbabwe, Japan aims to support well-built and resilient infrastructure that fosters regional integration and sustainable growth and development.

Source - newzimbabwe
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