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Chakwera says good road infrastructure key to enhancing local, international markets

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera says quality road infrastructure is key in enhancing the integration of local and international markets, which, in turn, induces improvements in productivity, leading to wealth creation and helping people to move out of poverty.

Chakwera has since commended the Government of Japan for the financial and technical support it provides towards construction and rehabilitation of strategic roads in Malawi.

The Malawi leader made the remarks on Wednesday when he inspected development projects in the City of Lilongwe.

President Chakwera said he was particularly happy that, apart from financing road projects, the Japanese Government is also providing technical and financial support in energy and education sectors, among others.

“So, I love the Japanese way of doing development, because they don’t make noise, they don’t blow their own trumpet, they don’t use their money to manipulate or intimidate us, they don’t court media attention, and they don’t criticize our country because they know that doing so is like criticizing the furniture in the house where you have been welcomed as a guest. Anthu a ku Japan amangofuna azigwira ntchito zachitukuko, ndiye mayiko oterewa ndi amene tizigwira nawo ntchito,” he said.)

He said the rehabilitation of the M1 Road will last for a generation.

“Once the improvements of this road are done, along with the improvements being made from Kanengo to Crossroads with support from China, the improvements being made to Kenyatta and Mzimba Streets with our own finances, the improvements we are designing for the road from Chidzanja to Nathenje, from Kamuzu International Airport to Kanengo, and Kaunda and Chendawaka roads, Lilongwe will be transformed and be the pride of our country,” he narrated.

President Chakwera directed the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara, to stay vigilant on the progress of the Dzaleka – Ntchisi – Malomo Road, the Nsanama – Nayuchi road, the Mkanda – Kapiri road, the Monkey bay – Cape Maclear road, the Mzimba – Mzarangwe Road, the Ntcheu -Tsangano – Neno – Mwanza road, the Njakwa – Livingstonia road, the Kaphatenga – Benga road, and the Chitipa – Ilomba road.

These are the roads the Chakwera administration is constructing. He challenged contractors to ensure speed and quality, stressing that Malawians want to enjoy these developments.

“I am also directing you, Minister, to see to it that the following roads that I have secured financial support for are commenced this year: the M5 road from Benga to Dwangwa that will be co-financed by the African Development Bank and OPEC Fund; the Liwonde – Matawale road that will be financed by the World Bank; the road from Nsipe to Liwonde that will be funded by the African Development Bank and European Union; the Mangochi – Makanjira road that I secured finance for from the Saudi Fund for Development in November,” said Chakwera.

Speaking earlier, Hara said the Chakwera administration embarked on a programme to decongest city roads by increasing their capacity to accommodate the ever increasing number of vehicles.

Hara said the programme will include capacity improvement of a number of key roads within the city, construction of fly-over bridges and overpasses.

“It is our belief that once these interventions are completed, Lilongwe City will be in a better position to deal with the congestion for many years to come. Some of the projects include capacity improvement of the road from the Kamuzu International Airport passing through the City, all the way up to Nathenje. Some sections of this road are already under construction, others are under design with construction works to commence after finalising the designs. Other roads within the city earmarked for capacity improvement include, the Kaunda and Chendawaka roads from Mchinji road roundabout to Area 25 and joining the M001 road at Kanengo. The Kenyatta and Mzimba streets are currently under construction, and the Lali Lubani road. Other roads that are also being considered for expansion are the Chidzanja road and the Youth drive,” said the minister.

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