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Japan has started conducting the feasibility study for the improvement of Karoi-Chirundu highway.
Second Secretary for the Economic Division at the Japanese Embassy in Zimbabwe Yumi Sakata told The Herald Business in an interview last week that a feasibility study was being carried out on the project.
“As a follow up to economic deals that were signed between Japan and Zimbabwe a feasibility study for the Karoi to Chirundu highway is currently being conducted.
“The project is for the improvement of a road section along the northern part of the North-South Corridor for which Zimbabwe requested grant aid from the Government of Japan in 2015,” said Ms Sakata.
The Japan International Co-operation Agency has already started the preparatory survey for the project.
The objective of the project is to improve transportation and logistics situation as well as traffic safety of the northern part of the North-South Corridor from Chirundu to Karoi by constructing climbing lanes and improving horizontal and vertical alignment.
In 2002 Japan extended grant aid to build the New Chirundu Bridge with the dual lane, 400 metre-long and 120-tonne maximum road across Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
In 2009, with support from JICA and other partners, the Chirundu One Stop Border Post was launched for the first time of this kind in Africa to enhance trade facilitation through efficient movement of goods and people along the North-South Corridor.
“Japanese firms are interested in investing in Zimbabwe but there is need to avail critical economic information and a know how of how the economy is performing together with policies that are currently being pronounced.
JICA survey team leader Shuntaro Kawahara said the aim of the preparatory survey was to prepare an outline design which would be necessary for the appraisal of the grant aid on the side of Japan.
JICA together with Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and in particular the Department of Roads will formulate the best project components.
“Japan developed its highway network coping with mountainous topography and as such would like to share Japanese experiences of designing and constructing highway to improve the northern part of the corridor characterised with mountainous terrain synonymous with Japan,” said Mr Kawahara.