The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) intends to improve its electrical grid through partnerships with Japanese agencies, organizations, and companies. The news comes only a week after the KRG admitted that the autonomous region was suffering from crippling power outages that needed to be remedied promptly. The KRG Prime Minister stated that,

We are thanking the Japanese government, who within the framework of its loans program for Iraq and out of the KRG’s share, implemented this project for the establishment of the Development and Training Center for the electricity ministry in a bid to boost the electricity sector of the Kurdistan Region.”

The Japanese consulate claims the electrical retrofitting project will be spread out over a 10-year period at the cost of around $120 million. Consul Katsumi Moriyasu stated that,

It was financially supported through small investment loans from the Japanese government. The project will supply electricity to the provinces of Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaimani along with maintenance for the ministry. The Japanese government is proud to be a main partner in this strategic project that will benefit all people and industries. It will also strengthen bilateral relations and friendly relations between Japan and the Kurdistan Region,” by creating jobs for laborers and engineers within the construction sector.

Prime Minister Barzani went on to express Kurdistan‘s gratitude towards the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for their continued contributions towards the betterment of Iraqi-Kurdistan. Barzani said,

The opening of this center for training and developing the human, professional, and scientific resources of the cadres and employees of the electricity ministry is part of our reforms. The political stalemates of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have impeded the execution of the bulk of all plans and programs to develop and advance life, and all the services that the KRG had planned for. Yet, the will of the government and people of Kurdistan for a better life and development, remain as it is. On its hardest days, it moved on as far as it was capable to go to, for carrying out its reform plans. The government’s steps towards reform in terms of energy and oil, administration and finance, the revision of the employee’s payroll lists and biometric registration process and reducing the power produce expenses, have all taken place according to the global standards.”

Prime Minister Barzani added that the KRG’s various ministries would “all benefit from it for training, workshops and any other activities aimed at developing human and scientific resources. I am once again calling on all the Kurdistani sides to become united and harmonious and enter into talks for the government formation attempts with a joint package. Our main objective is to achieve a genuine partnership in Iraq and secure the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region.” As Iraq has descended into chaos amidst nationwide protests over infrastructure issues and the lack of essential resources, Kurdistan is moving forward with its future.

Featured image: Japan’s Ambassador Susumu Hasegawa met the new Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani to congratulate him on establishing the seventh cabinet. | Kurdistan Regional Government