THE government of Japan is set to extend a US$700 000 grant to Zimbabwe for the detailed design component phase two of the steep section on the North-South Corridor between Makuti and Hell’s Gate.
This follows the completion of the first phase of the road rehabilitation in the northern part of the North-South Corridor, which has resulted in the construction of climbing lanes and widening of sharp curves.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the grant agreement in Harare yesterday, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the construction of the climbing lane would help reduce the number of accidents as it would allow smooth flow of traffic and safe overtaking.
“The project will go a long way in improving ease of doing business in that traffic will flow smoothly, thereby reducing the time spent on the road for transit trucks and trucks delivering products to and from the country,” he said.
The exchange notes and grant agreement were signed by Ncube, Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe Satoshi Tanaka and the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) representative to Zimbabwe, Kyosuke Kawazumi.
The project will be implemented by JICA engineers in collaboration with engineers from the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry.
Phase one of the project, which opened in May 2021, improved a 6,5km section between Marongora and Hell’s Gate.
In a joint statement, the parties said the North-South Corridor was a vital international trunk road for Zimbabwe and the region at a time when regional integration is underway through Southern African Development Community and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The African Union expects it to become the busiest transport corridor by 2040.