MAPUTO– The Japanese government has provided a grant of about eight million US dollars to Mozambique to strengthen professional training in the country and to rehabilitate and equip three professional training centres, in Machava, on the outskirts of Maputo, in the central city of Quelimane, and in the northern port city of Nacala.

Equipping these centres will begin this year and extend until 2020. The Japanese grant will be used to install equipment which uses state of the art technology. It s hoped that graduates from these centres will find work in Mozambican and foreign companies which set up operations in the special economic zones and the industrial free zones of the country.

The grant agreement was signed in Maputo Tuesday by Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco, Japanese Ambassador Toshio Ikeda, and the representative in Mozambique of the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), Hiroaki Endo.

Pacheco said the development of human resources is a government priority, since it contributes to reducing unemployment and poverty. It will provide Mozambican labour with skills which allow Mozambican workers to become competitive, and will also produce technical managers who can run businesses.

Pacheco said the grant is part of a series of co-operation projects financed by Japan. One of the most significant is a new combined cycle power station in Maputo which, beginning this year, will produce 106 megawatts (MW) of electricity, using as its fuel Mozambican natural gas from the southern province of Inhambane.

This power station cost about 180 million USD of which 167 million USD were disbursed by the Japanese government, while the remaining 13 million USD came from Mozambique’s own State budget.

We note with satisfaction, the weight and role of Japanese cooperation in the building of various infrastructures in Mozambique, such as schools, roads, bridges and agricultural projects, said the Minister.

The ambassador said the grant agreement was an outcome of the joint declaration by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, signed during Nyusi’s visit to Japan in March 2017.

The centres will provide automobile repair and maintenance services, to meet the needs of the greatly increased fleet of second-hand cars in the country, and will help create industries to process and conserve agricultural produce.