Japan granted Tunisia a credit worth 36,676 million yen, about 780 million dinars (MD), to build a sea water desalination plant in Sfax.
This credit, granted to the National Water Supply and Distribution Company (SONEDE), will be repaid over 25 years, 7 years of which are grace period with an interest rate of 1.7%.
The credit agreement was signed by Secretary of State to the Foreign Minister Sabri Bachtobji, Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura and the representative of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) on the fringes of the 9th joint Tunisian-Japanese Commission held on Friday in Tunis.
This project, which is scheduled to end in 2020, will contribute to reinforce the capacity and quality of drinking water distribution by helping SONEDE provide 100,000 tons of additional water in a first stage to the region of Greater Sfax, the second largest city in Tunisia.
This project will benefit one million inhabitants in the governorate of Sfax.
The Japanese official commended the success of Tunisia in its democratic transition and the importance of its role in the North African region and the Arab world, reiterating its support to Tunisia, in particular In the field of infrastructure, which is an essential element for achieving sustainable economic growth.
He pointed out that this project is part of the Japanese programme to strengthen basic infrastructure in African countries, noting that Japan had announced investments of approximately $ 10 billion in Africa for infrastructure development at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in 2016 (TICAD).
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Sabri Bachtobji said that the project to build a seawater desalination plant in Sfax is the first Japanese commitment as part of the promises made at the TUNISIA 2020 Conference on Investment held in November 2016.
The 9th Joint Tunisian-Japanese Commission discussed bilateral and partnership relations binding the two countries, notably in investment, renewable energy, tourism and information and communication technologies fields.
© Tunis-Afrique Presse 2017