Jenda-Edingeni road construction works launched: ‘ Delivering real economic change’

President Joyce Banda, presiding over the ground breaking ceremony of the 53-kilometre road from Jenda to Edingeni in Mzimba today, has described the start of the construction works of the road as proof of her government’s commitment to deliver real change to the people.

“Malawi deserves real change that impacts on the lives of our people; change that brings incomes into the homes of our people; change that creates jobs for our people; change that transforms the infrastructure for business.

“This transformative change that uplifts many of our people out of poverty is what I am here for,” President Banda declared to the ululation of thousands of people who gathered at Jenda CDSS ground  where she spoke to them.

Explaining  her vision, she said when she took over  Government,  her agenda was to eradicate poverty through economic growth and wealth creation. Through the economic recovery plan, her Government chose five priority sectors: agriculture, energy, tourism, mining and infrastructure development. Within these sectors, her Government has laid a foundation that will turn around the fortunes of this country for generations, said the Malawi leader.

Road works ahead: President Banda launching the construction project in Mzimba

“The agriculture sector is diversifying and has already demonstrated capacity for growth. The energy sector is set to turn around the history of our development agenda. We have laid the foundation to resolve the electricity problems of this country for the next 50 years. The mining sector is strategically promising to pull Malawi out of a vicious cycle of underdevelopment.

“Very soon, we will finalise the geological mapping and airborne geophysical exploration. We will put these mineral resources on the national asset register. The tourism sector is repositioning our country to be the real warm heart of Africa.

“And here today, this Jenda – Edingeni road project is a manifestation that my Government will do what it says. Joyce Banda believes in action and this is my trade mark: making things happen,” she enthused.

The President said the Jenda-Edingeni road will pass through an area that produces Tobacco and various farm produce that have transformed Jenda Trading Center into a peri-urban center.

The construction of the new road will be made possible with financial assistance from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and also from the Malawi Government.

She thanked the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for the financial support., which she described as one of the country’s new development partners who have shown keen interest to help Malawi develop its road infrastructure.

President Banda who visited the United Arab Emirates recently announced that the Abu Dhabi Fund   will be supporting the nation in its development agenda.

The Jenda – Edingeni road project is part of the Jenda – Edingeni- Euthini – Mpherembe – Rumphi road project that Government has earmarked for development. The road will be upgraded in phases due to its long distance and the Jenda–Edingeni stretch is the first phase.

The President said the project will induce more investment in agriculture production and tourism to this area thereby creating more employment; improving people’s incomes, thereby contributing to the reduction of poverty, the main cornerstone of the government’s development policy.

Saying that government is committed to bring real change to all the districts in the Northern Region, she outlined some projects government has lined up in the area:

1. The Mzuzu – Nkhata Bay road project covering 42 Kilometers of widening and road rehabilitation–funded by the African Development Bank;

2. The Rumphi – Nyika – Chitipa road project.  Work is in progress for the economic feasibility study and preliminary engineering design with funding from one of the country’s longtime development partner, the Arab Economic Development Bank for Africa (BADEA);

3. The Mzimba – Mzalangwe road to which Government allocated funding for the upgrading and construction  from the current earth to bitumen standard. This road is part of the Mzimba – Eswazini – Kafukule – Ezondweni – Ekwendeni road project.

The President appealed to the general public living along the road corridor to cooperate with the contractor during the construction of the road and to take ownership of the road project.

She also deplored theft and vandalism of road construction materials, a common feature in many such projects in Malawi.

“We have heard of cases of theft of construction materials such as fuel and cement on a number of road construction projects and we do not want that to happen here.”

President being taken through the road plan

President Banda and Minister of Transport Sidik Mia; Road launched

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