January 13, 2011
1. During the third quarter of FY 2010, from October to December, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a total of 22 grant aid agreements.
A complete list of these agreements is provided in the Appendix. Key details are provided below for two of the main projects for which agreements were signed this quarter.
2. In the land-locked nation of Afghanistan, in addition to roads that extend into neighboring countries, airports play a vital role for the transportation of people and goods. Among the nearly 40 airports around the country, Kabul International Airport is essential as the airport facility serving the capital city and a hub for domestic and international air routes.
Japan has provided assistance for improving functions at Kabul International Airport, including support for the construction of an international terminal and parking lot infrastructure, as well as the provision of equipment. Even during the functional improvements, the airport had a large number of airplanes coming and going, bringing nearly one million travelers annually.
Despite its critical role, Kabul International Airport has long been beset with many problems and does not yet meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). As part of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, Afghanistan's government aims to bring Kabul International Airport into conformity with ICAO standards. At the request of Afghanistan's government, Japan decided to repair the taxiway and apron, one of the pressing issues at the Kabul International Airport. Based on that decision, JICA signed a grant aid agreement on October 12, 2010 for the Project for Rehabilitation of Airfield Pavements at Kabul International Airport (2.752 billion yen). Under that project, repairs will be performed on the taxiway, which connects to the runway for incoming and outgoing airplanes, and the apron, which is used as space for parking airplanes, with the goal of ensuring an environment in which aircraft can depart and land safely.
The taxiway and apron have deteriorated significantly due to the rapid increase in flights leaving and arriving in recent years, and there have been concerns about the potential for accidents occurring between aircraft. The project will improve these conditions, contributing to the functionality of Kabul International Airport, a hub of aviation.
Concurrent with this project, Japan is installing solar panels that will improve the power supply at Kabul International Airport, contributing to a multilateral approach to improvement of airport functions. To ensure reliable implementation of the rehabilitation project, JICA will implement the rehabilitation project based on a relationship of trust they have built with airport personnel in the course past cooperation.
3. The northern half of Burkina Faso, which includes part of the Sahel Belt, is losing forest area every year to desertification. As the majority of citizens in Burkina Faso depend on natural resources for their livelihood, the nation recognizes the importance of sustainably using and managing forests and other natural resources, as well as the prevention of further desertification, and is taking action on those issues as a part of poverty alleviation measures. However, the Ministry of Environment and Quality of Life, which is responsible for the environmental sector, is in need of more adequately trained forestry officials and environmental technicians, making education and training an essential priority.
The National School of Water and Forestry (ENEF), founded in 1953, is a vocational educational institution in charge of educating new technicians at the Ministry of Environment and Quality of Life, as well as providing advancement training and retraining for current technicians. The ENEF will be the core of human resource training for the environmental sector. Because of the need for larger numbers of technicians in recent years, the student population has increased, rendering the institution's capacity inadequate. Additionally, the existing facilities and equipment are aging, becoming an impediment to education and training on technical skills.
Given this situation, JICA signed grant aid agreement on December 2, 2010 for the Project for the Capacity Development of Training and Education of ENEF (0.655 billion yen).
The objective of this project is to supplement the facilities at the ENEF, provide equipment for use in training, and strengthen educational and training functionalities so that Burkina Faso's government can implement a curriculum in line with its policies for educating forestry officials and environmental technicians.
This grant aid aims to contribute to ensuring environmental sustainability, one of the Millennium Development Goals, and it is expected that the implementation of this project will promote sustainable management of forests and other natural resources in Burkina Faso.