MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka
JAPAN says it remains committed to promoting Zambia’s economic growth.
Japanese ambassador Hidenobu Sobashima, who was speaking at the Zambia-JICA Fellowship Association (ZAJIFA) annual general meeting in Lusaka yesterday, said his government will always work with the Zambian government in promoting economic growth through bilateral relations and promoting industrial growth to better the lives of Zambians.
He also said the Japanese government targets to train 30,000 people in Africa in various economic sectors to enhance economic empowerment and diversification by next year.
Mr Sobashima said his government is committed to fostering socio-economic development through partnerships.
He said Japan, which has invested over US$2 billion since the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) became operational in Zambia, helps to train about 3,000 Zambians every year in various economic disciplines.
And Mr Sobashima also expressed sympathy to the victims of the gutted shops at Lusaka City Market.
Meanwhile, Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo, who was represented by director of Vocational Education and Training Alex Simumba, said Government values partnerships that are aimed at improving the lives of Zambians.
She said Japan has been an “all-weather friend” of Zambia in various sectors over the years.
“We will continue to engage in partnerships aimed at empowering our people, we cannot develop the country alone without the support of our partners.
“Since the launch of the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP), our role as government is to scout for partnerships,” Professor Luo said.
She said Government will continue to support operations of JICA in Zambia.
And ZAJIFA chairman Joseph Mulenga commended the Japanese government for its continued support through grants and other forms of aid to Zambia.
He said Japan has over the years greatly contributed to uplifting the lives of Zambians through agriculture, education and health.