The government of Zimbabwe is seeking funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for four major road projects. Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza confirmed the report and said the external funding would complement Government’s budgetary commitment to infrastructure development.
The four major road projects include construction of missing links on Harare Drive, Phase 2 of the Airport Road, Birchenough Bridge and Chirundu Highway. This also includes completion of the remaining 13,5 kilometres of the 21km stretch on the accident-prone Makuti-Chirundu Road earmarked for improvement after Japan poured in US $21m for the first 6,5km. The missing links of Harare Drive alone will cost US $110m.
Meeting international standards
“The Government was working towards bringing the country’s roads to international standards through various projects that are underway across the country. As a ministry we are happy that Government is giving us commendable support as we move to fulfill President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) for upper middle income status,” said Minister Matiza.
Japan has been supporting the country’s infrastructure development projects in the past including providing US $5,5m worth of bitumen to rehabilitate roads damaged during the 2016/2017 rainfall season and the Chirundu Bridge across the Zambezi River.
Japan together with the African Development Bank recently announced a a joint target of US $3,5bn under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative (EPSA4), during TICAD 7. Both Japan and the bank have set a target of $1,75 billion each, from 2020-2022, to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.