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Last Update : Monday, Aug 3, 2015

JapanGov Weekly

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Monday, Jul 13, 2015]

Signing of Grant Agreement with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire

On July 10, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to provide grant aid of up to 5.038 billion yen for the Project for the Improvement of the Japan-Ivorian Friendship Intersection.

During the political crises in Côte d’Ivoire that started in the late 1990s, new investment and maintenance of the road infrastructure were inadequate, and even today, much of the road network remains unpaved, including approximately 47 percent in Abidjan, the country’s largest city.

Since the end of the post-election conflict in 2011, the economy of Côte d’Ivoire has recorded a growth rate between 8 and 9 percent per year, a rapid rate of growth, and the number of automobiles being registered in Abidjan is increasing at a rate of 8 to 10 percent per year. As a result, traffic congestion is severe on trunk roads in Abidjan, particularly during the morning.
In the Abidjan city center is an intersection that handles 125,000 vehicles a day, connecting the city core with the Port of Abidjan as well as being the start point of two international corridors, one running east-west and the other north-south. However, the intersection is a traffic signal roundabout, which results in a maximum traffic speed of 10 kilometers per hour during peak periods, and the intersection congestion is a major hindrance, impeding the smooth movement of people and goods. To improve the situation, this project will create grade separation to boost the traffic capacity. The junction will be renamed the Japan-Ivorian Friendship Intersection.

According to the project plan, the time needed to pass through the intersection will be shortened by as much as 40 percent. In addition to alleviating urban traffic congestion, it is expected that the transportation of goods on the east-west and north-south international corridors will become smoother through these improvements.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015]

Signing of Grant Agreement with the Togolese Republic

On July 7, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Togolese Republic to provide grant aid of up to 3.125 billion yen for the Project of Construction of Two Bridges, Kara and Koumongou.

In order to boost economic growth, the Government of Togo is focusing on infrastructure development of the Togo Logistics Corridor that connects the capital of Lomé, a naturally good, deep-water harbor located at the southern end of the country, with Burkina Faso which borders Togo to the north. The Togo Corridor is composed of National Highway No. 1, which runs north to south and connects Lomé to the Burkina Faso border, and National Highway No. 17, which branches westward from National Highway No. 1 at Sokodé, a city in central Togo, and loops around to connect again with National Highway No. 1. The northern part of National Highway No. 1 has many mountainous sections with sharp curves and steep grades which hinder the smooth flow of traffic, and National Highway No. 17 plays an important part as an alternative route.

However, all of the existing bridges on the Kara River, which cuts across National Highway No. 17, are low-water bridges, and there are no bridges across the Koumongou River. During the rainy season, which lasts at least six months a year, vehicles cannot cross those rivers.

To improve these circumstances, this project will construct bridges across the Kara and Koumongou Rivers, enhancing the road transportation capacity of National Highway No. 17, and strengthening the Togo Corridor as an international logistics network.

This project will make it possible to use National Highway No. 17 all year long. These bridges will also reduce the time currently needed to travel during the dry seasons by 70 percent. It is also expected that this project will improve the efficiency of logistics between Burkina Faso, which borders Togo, and Mali and Niger which are located further inland.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015]

JICA Helps Fight Lifestyle Diseases in Fiji and Kiribati

JICA will help the Oceanic nations of Fiji and Kirabati attempt to control cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer for the next five years.

These lifestyle diseases — also known as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) — are the No. 1 cause of death worldwide, and the situation is the same in modern Oceania. A traditional diet of fish, meat, fruits and vegetables has been replaced by a Western diet, resulting in high rates of obesity and NCDs.

The Project for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases got started in May. JICA is providing technical cooperation to strengthen the capacity of government and medical institutions to oversee NCD prevention and countermeasures and to create a system for monitoring and evaluation, in an effort that will last through 2020.

The project is providing technical support to initiatives already underway by the two governments to combat NCDs.

In Kiribati, JICA will cooperate to establish a community-based approach to NCD countermeasures and to strengthen the capacity to analyze data obtained through monitoring and evaluation.

In the future, JICA expects this project to become a model for Oceania, which shares social conditions peculiar to island nations, and to contribute to NCD countermeasures throughout the region.

In Oceania, the four major noncommunicable diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and malignant tumors) cause 78 percent of deaths. In Fiji, it is calculated that more than 70 percent of deaths in 2012 were caused by NCDs. In Kiribati, on the other hand, 74 percent of people ages 25 to 64 are categorized as having high risk of developing an NCD. By way of comparison, 68 percent of global deaths in 2012 were due to noncommunicable diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

The Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services' Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Strategic Plan 2015-2019 proclaims a policy of evidence-based prevention and treatment. It also focuses on strengthening monitoring and evaluation functions to achieve a holistic, community-based approach to wellness.

The Kiribati government's national strategic plan for NCDs for 2013-2015 focuses on expanding and bolstering oversight of NCD countermeasures. It also includes strengthening prevention of, countermeasures to and monitoring of NCDs. The government also plans to approach communities for assistance combating NCDs, based on the Health Outreach Program for Equity (HOPE).

[Japan National Tourism Organization] [Monday, Jul 27, 2015]

The Japan Monthly Web Magazine August issue has been released

The Japan Monthly Web Magazine, published by Japan National Tourism Organization, is easy to read on your smartphone or tablet. It brings you the hottest news every month.