Pak, Japan coop agreements in energy, education sectors

Mian Arshad

Islamabad—Pakistan and Japan, Tuesday, signed bilateral agreements for two projects to support energy and education sectors in Pakistan. The Government of Japan has accordingly agreed to provide grants approximately worth 1,967 million Yen (approx. 17.5 million USD) to the Government of Pakistan to strengthen training facilities on power grid operations and to build around 25 girls’ schools in Northern Rural Sindh. Charge d’ Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan Junya Matsuura and Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Tariq Bajwa signed the agreements here.
The agreements add another chapter to Pak-Japan economic cooperation. Senior officials of the Economic Affairs Division and the Embassy of Japan attended the signing ceremony. The bilateral agreements were signed for “The Project for Strengthening Training Center on Grid System Operations and Maintenance” providing a grant up to 994 million Yen (approx. 8.9 million USD), and “The Project for Upgrading Primary Girls Schools into Elementary Schools in Northern Rural Sindh” worth 973 million Yen (approx. 8.6 million USD), On the same occasion, Grant Agreements on the details of implementation of these projects were signed between Chief Representative of JICA Yasuhiro Tojo and Joint Secretary of EAD Syed Mujtaba Hussain.
“The Project for Strengthening Training Center on Grid System Operations and Maintenance”, will support Technical Service Group (TSG) of National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) to develop training courses with Japanese advanced and efficient technology by strengthening their training facilities including the installation of a training purpose simulator. JICA completed its technical cooperation project in 2014 for capacity building for trainers of grid system operators of NTDC. This grant aid project signed today will bring about a synergy with outcome of the technical cooperation.
“The Project for Upgrading Primary Girls Schools into Elementary Schools in Northern Rural Sindh”, which actually is the second phase of the on-going project, and will build around 25 elementary-middle schools for girls in the rural areas of Northern Sindh Province (Khairpur , Sukkur, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Larkana and Dadu) to improve and expand girls’ access to middle education in rural areas of Sindh. Under the first phase of the project, Government of Japan is currently constructing 29 schools in Hyderabad, Badin, Tandoo Allahyar, Jamshoro, Nawbshah and Mirpurkhas.
At the signing ceremony, Junya Matsuura emphasized the importance of both stabilization of energy supply and promotion of girls’ education, which are significant challenges in Pakistan. He also reaffirmed Japan’s continuous support for development of Pakistan and well-being of people in Pakistan Tojo, Chief Representative of JICA while commenting on the significance of the projects, said “JICA will continue its support to Pakistan’s energy and education sector for the development of both its infrastructure and human resources, closely paying attention to the needs of the Government of Pakistan and in cooperation with the international community.”
Both “Energy” and “Education” are the foundations of a nation, and Japan has been supporting effort of the Government of Pakistan for the issues that lie ahead in these sectors. In energy sector, under Japan’s assistance, power plants such as Bin Qasim, Jamshoro and Ghazi Barotha etc. were constructed in Pakistan and generate 2,760MW in total. Moreover, bilateral agreement to provide a concessional loan of 5 billion yen (approximately USD 43 million) for the Energy Sector Reform Program-II was signed between both governments on February 2016. In education sector, expanding education opportunities is one of Japan’s development priority areas in Pakistan. Japan has built over 500 schools so far in various parts of Pakistan since the commencement of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) program in 1954. These two projects signed today are parts of Japan’s contribution in the energy sector and education sector.

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