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Malawi, Japan sign K21.4 billion grant deal

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Felix Mlusu

The Japanese Government on Wednesday signed a K21.4 billion grant agreement with the Malawi Government aimed at improving main roads in the City of Lilongwe.

The agreement will see the Japanese Government expanding a 2.7 km M1 stretch between Lilongwe Hotel and Lilongwe CCAP from the current two lanes to four lanes.

The project will also see the reconstruction of Lilongwe Bridge and installation of traffick lights as well as ancillary equipment for the improvement of road safety.

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The agreement was signed by Japanese Ambassador, Satoshi Iwakili, and Finance Minister, Felix Mlusu.

Iwakili said the Japanese Government is committed to helping Malawi develop its road infrastructure.

He said Japan appreciates the Malawi Government and Lilongwe City Council’s effort to facilitate the project, especially in the development of the project’s details design and also in the relocation of utilities and other objects that would be affected by the construction works.

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“Now that we are signing the project grant, I further request for your continued support and pro-activeness including timely dissemination of information to alert the citizens if project works will affect them,”  Iwakili said.

Mlusu hailed Japan for the grant which he said would ease mobility by reducing congestion in the Capital City.

He added that, once completed the project will also add beauty to the City of Lilongwe.

Mlusu also appealed to the Japanese Government to consider extending the project to Mchinji Round About as well as Bunda Turn off.

On his part, Transport Minister, Mohammed Sidik Mia, said the project is expected to start once the Japanese International Corporation Agency (Jica) identifies a contractor for the project.

Mia said government is committed to ensuring that construction works on the project are fast-tracked.

“We want that within 18 months, Malawians should start driving on a modern road so that we ease congestion in the city.

“During the construction phase, we will construct another bridge on the river which motorists will be using,” Mia said.

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