The Malawi government has applied for $50 million (about K36 billion) grant from the Japanese government to be used for rehabilitating Chiromo Bridge in Nsanje and part of it for the Thyolo-Thekerani-Muona-Bangula Road.
This is the part of the $30 billion (K22 trillion) Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged for Africa for the next three years during the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad VI) in Nairobi, Kenya last month.
Japanese officials at the conference said African countries would have to submit projects they want the money to be use for.
Speaking in an interview in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Gondwe said they applied for the funds and are just waiting for feedback from the Japanese government.
“Apart from applying for the funds, we are also hopeful to get money from Africa Development Bank (AfDB) where the Japanese government is expected to channel $10 billion [K7.3 trillion].”
Ben Kaluwa, an economics professor at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi commended government for borrowing to rehabilitate Chiromo Bridge because it is critical to the economic development of the country.
“This is a good project which will make a huge difference in the transport sector,” he said.
Road Transport Operators Association (Rtoa) executive director Chrissie Flao said in an interview on Tuesday the bridge has been there and was easing transport challenges, adding that rehabilitating it is commendable.
The original Chiromo Bridge was washed away in 1997.