Japan has entered into an agreement with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to second voluntary skilled labour force to the city as part of its bilateral relations with the local authority.
The volunteers from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) will offer expertise in Engineering Services, Housing and Community Services and the Town Clerk’s Department.
According to the latest council minutes, the local authority used to have JICA volunteers but the programme was suspended due to frosty relations between Zimbabwe and Japan.
However, the programme is set to resume as relations between the two countries have thawed.
“Following the improved climate in international relations of late, JICA through their local office in Harare had engaged (June 2018) the Bulawayo City Council amongst other aid recipients, with a view to recruit volunteer personnel to be deployed across the Council’s various service departments,” read the minutes
In a letter attached to the council minutes, the Ministry of Local Governance and Public Works approved the engagement of the volunteers.
“Please be advised that the Minister has approved Council’s request to engage 9 JICA Consultants to proffer expertise in Engineering Services, Housing and Community Services as well as the Town Clerk’s department,” read the letter.
The local authority would cater for accommodation with basic furniture, transport and general health care expenses for the JICA volunteers.
JICA is a governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance for the government of Japan.
It is chartered with assisting economic and social growth in developing countries, and the promotion of international cooperation.
In Zimbabwe, JICA’s cooperation is on agriculture, infrastructure development, health and other technical cooperation and capacity development which include volunteer (JOCV: Japan Overseas Cooperation Agency) and knowledge co-creation programs.