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Malawi sells unpaved roads in Japan

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By Yohane Symon:

Transport and Public Works Minister Ralph Jooma, who is attending the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad 7), has expressed optimism that the country would secure funds for the construction of Malawi’s unpaved roads.

In an interview from Japan, Jooma said Malawi had infrastructure deficits mainly in three major areas of roads, railway and water, which have been highlighted as lacking investments at the ongoing Ticad 7 conference.

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“Our participation at Ticad 7 has presented Malawi with an opportunity to tap more resources for infrastructure development. From the meetings we have had, led by the State Vice President Everton Chimulirenji, there are indications that we will secure funding for road, railway and water transport improvements,” he said.

He said 75 percent of Malawi’s roads remain unpaved and, as such, the government’s newly launched Transport Master Plan demands a shift from predominant use of road transport to other means such as rail or water.

“So our plan is that we invest a lot of money in these alternative means of transport. But we can only do that with support from our partners, with whom we have been cooperating for a long time now. We are optimistic that the transport sector will benefit from this conference,” Jooma said.

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Apart from areas such as road, railway and water transport, Jooma said Ticad 7 had provided the country with a resource window for upgrading of the Chileka International Airport, whose rehabilitation has been withstanding for a long time.

Among other things, the Malawi team is expected to engage in bilateral talks with heads of state and government and development partners attending the conference.

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