The University of Zambia (UNZA) has entered into an agreement with Gifu University (GU) to ensure sustainable human capital development in the road sector in Zambia and the region. The agreement was entered into on Wednesday, 30th January 2019 at GU in Japan. The cooperation agreement will be implemented mainly by the Faculty of Engineering from GU and the School of Engineering at UNZA.
UNZA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Mumba, explained that most of the bridge infrastructure in Zambia was built in the 1970s but that structural monitoring and assessment skills had been limited resulting in decision making on bridge management mainly being based on subjective visual Inspections. He added that this agreement would address the skills gaps through sharing of technology and technical skills, joint research, student and staff exchange.
The agreement between GU and UNZA follows the outcome of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) technical cooperation project for bridge maintenance capacity building implemented over the period from 2015 to 2017 under the Road Development Agency (RDA). This project revealed that there was need to develop sustainable human resource for RDA.
Director for the JICA Team Infrastructure Department in Tokyo, Mr Kanenawa Tomoki, said, “In Phase II of the bridge maintenance capacity building project in Zambia, JICA had asked Gifu University to introduce, through their Centre of Infrastructure asset management technology research (CIAM), a human capital development system to train civil engineers under the Road Development Agency on the Japan model”.
He said through the Phase II project, JICA was looking forward to UNZA providing a bridge maintenance programme to the RDA, local consultants and contractors with support from GU.