Zimbabwe receives US$21m roads grant from Japan

The Japanese government has extended a grant of approximately US$21 million to the government of Zimbabwe for a road construction project to improve steep gradients on the Makuti–Chirundu section of the north–south corridor.

Japanese grants are non-reimbursable funds provided to a recipient country to purchase products or services for its economic and social development.

The exchange of notes was presided over by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cde Patrick Chinamasa and the Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Toshiyuki Iwado in Harare today.

The project will be implemented by the Department of Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development under the supervision of Japanese highway engineers, who will share with their Zimbabwean counterparts, their experience and latest expertise gained from highway construction in Japan’s mountainous terrain.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the intervention will improve domestic and international transport links for the country, and support economic growth and job creation.

“The project entails the construction of a climbing lane on the road section between Makuti and Hell’s Gate. This section was identified to be a hazardous area, where a number of accidents had been occurring due to the sharp curves and steep slopes. So the construction of the climbing lane will help reduce the number of accidents as it will allow smooth flow of traffic and safe overtaking of slow moving traffic,” he said.

“The project will also go a long way in improving easy of doing business in that traffic will flow smoothly thereby reducing the time spent on the road for transit trucks and trucks delivering products to and from the country,” he added.

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According to Minister Chinamasa, the project is expected to start by mid-2019 and be completed in 2021.

Through the project, more than 250 people will be employed and the construction phase is expected to commence later this year and scheduled to be completed by early 2021.

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