3 June 2008 - Over the next five years Mozambique and Zambia will share US$780 million provided by Japan via the World Bank for the construction of electricity transmission lines in these two member states of SADC (Southern African Development Community).

According to the Japanese paper, the "Asahi Shimbun", citing Japanese government sources, the money will be provided as soft loans, and everything indicates that it will be divided in line with the electrification projects submitted by the two countries to the World Bank.

The money is part of the US$4 billion in grants and soft loans for Africa that Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fakuda announced on Wednesday at the opening of the fourth Japan-African summit (TICAD), which is due to close on Friday in Yokohama.

The paper noted that unlike past practice, when Japan handled the money it granted or loaned directly, this time it has chosen to channel the funds via the World Bank. Countries such as Zimbabwe, which have failed to honour past undertakings to the World Bank and the IMF, will not be eligible.

The new scheme is based on an agreement signed between Fakuda and the President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick.