Japan Awards Zimbabwe US$17.4 Million Grant for Critical Road Enhancement Project

March 9, 2024
road construction | Report Focus News
road construction

In a significant boost to Zimbabwe’s infrastructure, the Government of Japan has committed a substantial grant of ¥2,389 million (US$17.4 million) for the crucial development of a 7.8km stretch of road linking Makuti and Marongora. This funding marks the second phase of an essential project within the North-South Corridor, aimed at enhancing Zimbabwe’s transportation network and fostering socio-economic growth.

Following the successful inauguration of a 6.5km section between Marongora and Hell’s Gate by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2021, this next phase underscores Japan’s ongoing commitment to Zimbabwe’s infrastructural development. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has played a pivotal role in both the funding and technical oversight of these projects.

The grant agreement and project details were solidified in a ceremony attended by Zimbabwe’s Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion Minister Mthuli Ncube, alongside Shinichi Yamanaka, Japan’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, and Shigeki Furuta, JICA’s chief representative in Zimbabwe. This collaborative effort highlights the strategic partnership between the two nations, aimed at advancing Zimbabwe’s transport infrastructure and safety standards.

Under the supervision of JICA engineers and the Department of Roads within the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, the project seeks to address critical safety issues. Minister Ncube, speaking at the signing ceremony, pointed out the hazardous conditions of the targeted road segment, characterized by sharp turns and steep slopes. The upcoming enhancements, including climbing lanes and the widening of curves, are designed to mitigate these dangers, ensuring a safer and more efficient passage for motorists.

Expressing gratitude for Japan’s support, Ncube also highlighted recent contributions by the Japanese government, including the donation of two ambulances to support Covid-19 prevention efforts in vulnerable districts. These acts are part of a broader framework of support from Japan that dates back to 1980, encompassing loan aid, grant aid, technical cooperation, and food assistance.

The Makuti-Marongora road improvement project symbolizes the deep-rooted cooperation between Zimbabwe and Japan. By bolstering Zimbabwe’s infrastructure, the initiative is expected to reduce traffic accidents significantly, improve travel efficiency, and contribute to the nation’s overall economic development.