By Rudo Saungweme
Zimbabwe’s relationship with Japan continues to deepen as Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube signed the Exchange of Notes For the procurement of cyber security equipment with Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Toshiyuki Iwado yesterday.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Professor Ncube said, “Let me take this opportunity to also thank the Government of Japan for their continued support towards infrastructure projects in agriculture, transport and education. Quite recently, on 19 June 2018, Government received a Grant from the Government of Japan for the Improvement of the North-South Corridor, the 6.5km Road Section between Makuti and Hell`s Gate.
“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. The Project will also go a long way in improving easy of doing business in that, traffic will flow smoothly thereby reducing the time spend on the road for transit trucks and trucks delivering products to and from.”
Professor Ncube added that in 2017, Government received support through the Grant Aid for Economic-Social Development Project for the Procurement of Bitumen valued at USD 5.3 million. The Bitumen procured under the grant aid assisted in the implementation of USD148 million Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme to restore and improve the country`s road networks Emergency Road.
Government of Japan has been funding a number of projects in Zimbabwe. During 2018 Harmonised Electoral Process, Government of Japan contributed USD1 million towards the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Capacity Building Project. Japanese Government also assisted in the development of infrastructure such as the construction and rehabilitation of bridges namely Chirundu Bridge across Zambezi River, as well as, Odzi Ungwe, Devure, Sote and Pembezi.
Professor Ncube assured the Government of Japan that Zimbabwe is committed to the full re-engagement with Japan as well as strengthening all bilateral partnerships.
President Mnangagwa is also preaching the same mantra of engaging and re-engaging with those countries that are willing to work with Zimbabwe.