Walter Muchinguri recently in Tokyo JAPAN
The Japan International Agency is keen to provide grant aid for infrastructure and irrigation projects in Zimbabwe that have a huge impact on Zimbabweans, an official has said.
JICA’s official in charge of Zimbabwe Mr Kurisu Masanori said the size of grant aid to Zimbabwe averaged between $20 and $30 per project.
“This time we had to make an exception and fund two projects at the same time instead of one,” he said.
The $20 million Nyakomba irrigation scheme project is due to be completed next year, while the $26 million grant for the 6,5 km Chirundu-Makuti road was set to be completed in 2021.
“We are looking for more projects and are discusing with Government officials in Harare,” he said.
“We are still interested in irrigation and infrastructure improvement but we are yet to come up with specific pipeline projects.
“We are eager to find new pipeline projects which have a huge impact like Nyakomba.”
Apart from the two project the Japanese Government was also implementing the smallholder horticulture empowerment project where its assisting farmers to identify markets first before deciding on what to grow.
In addition to grants Mr Masanori said they are also providing technical cooperation of up to $5 million for four to five year projects and support for training programmes.
During the past two years the Japanese govern has provided $46 million as a grant and $6,1 million in technical cooperation.
Meanwhile the Japan External Trade Organisation says Zimbabwe has a lot of potential to grow and Japan was hopeful of renewed relations between the two countries following the ushering in of the new dispensation.
JETRO’s executive vice President Katsumi Hirano however said they were waiting to see the kind of action that Government will take.
“I lived in Harare for 3 years between 1994 and 1997, it was a wonderful time and both our countries enjoyed good relations and investment so I hope to reach such a situation again.
“But everything depends on the Zimbabwean people and what sort of policies and measures are put in place by the new administration led by President Mnangagwa,” he said.
Zimbabwe has benefited from a number of projects funded by the Japanese in health, agriculture, water and environment, power, transport, tourism and others such as training and emergency relief.