Japan on Wednesday gave Malawi a K17 billion (3.7 billion yen) grant to finance a project to expand and rehabilitate Kamuzu International Airport (KIA).
Japanese Ambassador Shuichiro Nishioka exchanged grant notes with Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe during a ceremony held in Lilongwe.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nishioka observed that the buildings at KIA need major rehabilitation and maintenance to revitalise and expand the terminal building. He said there is also need to install new equipment such as aircraft surveillance system.
Said the Ambassador: “The operational space is usually congested as it cannot accommodate the current demand and certainly not the future.
“Concerned with these challenges and also in an effort to be more efficient and effective to improve the services at KIA, the government of Malawi made a request to the government of Japan to rehabilitate and expand the terminal building.”
He also said the bilateral relationship between Malawi and Japan complements an earlier grant signed in March this year for Tedzani Hydro Power Plant.
In his remarks, Gondwe said the bilateral relationship Malawi has with Japan has helped the country reap huge benefits.
Commenting on the same, Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila said the project will help KIA accommodate more aircraft capacity when it is completed.
“Malawi should be a safe landing place where people will have confidence getting on and off their flights without congestions that we are facing at the moment, “he said.
He also said by the end of the project, KIA will be able to scan luggage and other things before getting on the plane, thereby reducing any risk of carrying dangerous items.
The project of extending and maintaining KIA is expected to start in 2016 and completed in 2018.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :