Expansion works on Zimbabwe’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is well underway amid eagerness from stakeholders and enthusiasm from travelers.
The USD 153 million project, which received funding from the China Export-Import Bank, is expected to increase the airport’s holding capacity to 6 million people per annum from 2.5 million.
It is set to add a new international terminal building and aprons, four new bridges, a secondary radar system, a VVIP pavilion, an airfield ground lighting and communication system, among other things.
With this increase in passenger capacity, the project is seen as a gateway to bolstering the Southern African country’s tourism sector, with more visitors expected to make trips.
The project has been able to continue even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which interrupted many sectors and industries globally.
According to a Xinhua report, the new international terminal building is scheduled to be completed by June 2022, and the whole by June 2023.
It's taking shape despite impacts of Covid-19. The expasion of R.G.M airport project funded by China will increase tourist arrivals and stimulate the development of tourism. The project is expected to enhace the airport's holding capacity to 6 million people per annum. https://t.co/HwjTDlsuc3
— Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe (@ChineseZimbabwe) December 21, 2021
China and Zimbabwe enjoy warm bilateral relations, which have lasted more than 41 years.
On the basis of the good relations, China has cooperated with Zimbabwe in infrastructural projects in various sectors of the Zimbabwean economy, which have advanced the wellbeing of Zimbabweans.
Other projects include the upgrade of the Kariba South Hydro Power Station, which was completed in 2018, and the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station, which is expected to add nearly 700 megawatts into the national power grid by 2022.
China has also awarded scholarships to many Zimbabwean students to pursue studies in various fields.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has also sent donations of vaccines and other health equipment to boost Zimbabwe’s fight against the virus.