Zim-Japan co-operation ignites domestic tourism boom in Zim

Albert Chavhunduka

The technical cooperation between Japan and the Government of Zimbabwe in the tourism sector is projected to blossom through the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) Programme, a vehicle of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA-Zimbabwe), which has immensely contributed to the evolution of community based tourism in the country.

The country’s tourism sector had been shredded after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which according to the UN, has cost the world US$4 trillion, with developing countries affected the most.

In a statement through the Embassy of Japan in Zimbabwe Facebook page, JICA-Zimbabwe said the cooperation between the two countries has necessitated the growth and transformation of domestic tourism across Zimbabwe.

“The technical cooperation between Japan and Zimbabwe in the tourism sector continues to grow, from the Community Based Tourism (CBT) project being implemented in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Tengenenge and Gairezi under JICA Expert, Mr. Tetsuo Isono; to the dispatch of JOCV Tourism and Hospitality Instructor to Bulawayo Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism, Mr. Daiki Shigetani,” read the statement.

“Mr. Shigetani has so far spent 7 months offering his expertise to the department’s students. He describes his experience in Zimbabwe as an eye opener and is excited by the commitment shown by both the authorities and the students at the institution. So confident are the authorities in his capabilities, that they have entrusted him with responsibilities to help manage St. Patricks Hotel.”

JICA-Zimbabwe further said the programme has benefitted learners at Bulawayo Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism through various technical skills and knowledge.

“The hotel was established by the polytechnic to give students practical lessons and in the process, to generate much needed income. Mr. Shigetani’s presence is providing students with valuable experience in terms of international goodwill and expanding their international perspective.

Development cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Zimbabwe dates back to 1980, when the Southern African nation attained independence from Britain.

Crafters in marginalized communities have benefited from the technical partnership between
Zimbabwe and Japan

Japan has provided assistance to communities in both urban and rural areas, including the most remote parts of the country.

The Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Toshiyuki Iwado said since his posting to Zimbabwe in 2017, he has traversed the length and breadth of the country and is pleased that the assistance offered by his country is being fully utilised by the benefitting communities and expressed hope that the assistance will continue to bear fruit.

“It is only through Africa developing sustainably that the world’s development will be assured.

Our assistance is implemented with this in mind. Since Japan launched TICAD (Tokyo

International Conference on African Development) in 1993, the policy of Japan’s assistance

towards Africa has been strengthened and elaborated even further, and our assistance to

Zimbabwe can be seen by our support to rural communities,” he said.

Japan has been the largest international donor to Zimbabwe from the 1980’s to 2001, with assistance ranging from loan aid, grant aid, and technical cooperation

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