February 27, 2016
On 27th February 2016, the State President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika officially opened the recently rehabilitated Masauko Chipembere Highway in the country's commercial city of Blantyre. The highway was rehabilitated and expanded under the Japanese grant aid assistance, "the project for improvement of Blantyre City Roads".
The Malawian leader could not hide his joy at opening what he described as the most important road for economic development of Blantyre city.
"I am pleased to officially open this magnificent Highway today. This is a good road, and comfortable to drive. The design life of this rehabilitated Masauko Chipembere Highway is 15 to 20 years. This means we have some long years of driving with a smile", he told the Malawi Nation newspaper.
The highway provides a link between two trading districts of Limbe and Blantyre which are 8 kilometres apart. Through the Japanese grant aid assistance, the highway has been rehabilitated and in some sections turned into a dual carriage way, thereby easing traffic congestion which was the order of the day before the project.
Officially handing over the highway to the government and the people of Malawi, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Shuichiro Nishioka, said Japan recognizes that investing in infrastructure, particularly in transport sector, is vital for the promotion of external and internal trade and that it is for this reason that Japan has supported various projects to develop the transport sector in Malawi. He also expressed his gratitude to the Blantyre City Council, which was the counterpart organizations of this project, for their support and commitment during the project's implementation.
JICA has been a strong partner of Malawi Government in the transport sector with notable contribution such as the construction of the Kamuzu International Airport in the early 1980s, and construction of a number of bridges across the country, among others.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Malawi, H. E. Mr. Shuichiro Nishioka (right) and Resident Representative of JICA Malawi, Mr Kazuhiko Tokuhashi (left) standing in front of the plaque
H. E. Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (left) and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Malawi, H. E. Mr. Shuichiro Nishioka (right) opening the plaque
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Malawi, H. E. Mr Shuichiro Nishioka making a speech
H. E. Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika cutting a ribbon and officially opening the road