The Japanese government has signed a grant agreement of $7.9 million with Ghana in support of three projects in Ghana.
The projects include the construction of flyovers to help alleviate traffic congestion and improve the environment around the Tema Motorway Roundabout.
Another project in the agreement is the supply of medical equipment, comprising a radiography system, X-ray aprons, thermographs, CT scan machines, ambulances and water tankers to some health facilities, including the Ho Teaching Hospital, the Ga East Hospital, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Pentecost Treatment Centre and other hospital establishments.
Also included is the offer of 12 two-year master’s degree courses and one Ph.D programme in some Japanese universities for some government officials in the country.
The agreement was signed in Accra yesterday.
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Himeno Tsutomu, signed the document on behalf of Japan, while a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles Owiredu, endorsed the document on behalf of Ghana.
Mr Tsutomu said the grant aid was an indication of the strong friendly relations and partnership between Japan and Ghana.
He said the growing economic, social and political friendship and cooperation between the two countries was the reason for Japan’s decision to provide the grant.
“It is the wish of the people and the government of Japan that these projects would make valuable contributions in the areas of health, road infrastructure and human development,” he said.
He further intimated that the project on human resource development was a reflection of Japan’s recognition of human resource development as an essential tool for nation-building and the backbone of a resilient economy.
Impact of the projects
For his part, Mr Owiredu commended the Japanese government for the various support projects and programmes it had extended to Ghana and cited the friendship and cooperation and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
He said engagement between the countries had seen Ghana benefitting from various forms of development assistance from Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other Japanese organisations.
The deputy minister said the project to improve the Tema Motorway Roundabout was in line with the President’s vision to improve the capacity and safety of transport and freight on the motorway.
He said apart from the Tema Motorway Roundabout Project, Japan was also supporting Ghana with the construction of a new bridge across the Volta River along the Eastern Corridor road.
He expressed the government’s appreciation for the Japanese support, stressing that Ghana stood to benefit from it.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Ghana, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to the government of Japan for its unyielding support for Ghana’s socio-economic development.
“I wish to assure the government and the people of Japan that the grant will be used for the purpose for which it is intended,” he added.
Additionally, Mr Owiredu said, the Japanese government’s support in the form of medical equipment and supplies would augment Ghana’s effort at further strengthening its health sector in the fight against the COVID-19 and other diseases and described the offer as ”timely, given that the number of cases of the COVID-19 are increasing”.
He also expressed appreciation for the scholarships, saying that they were going to impact positively on Ghana’s human resource capacity.
“The government of Japan has been offering Japanese Human Resource Development Scholarships to Ghanaian officials since 2012 for academic research in Japanese graduate schools.
“And it is a fact that Ghanaians generally perform excellently at tasks given them and so I am optimistic that the opportunity offered beneficiaries will be put to good use,” he added.
Kennedy Aryeetey Tetteh | thebftonline.com | Ghana