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Ghana and Japan Strengthen Ties with New Scholarship Programme

Ghana and Japan Strengthen Ties with New Scholarship Programme

Accra, Wednesday 5th June 2024 - Ghana and Japan took a major step to deepen their longstanding partnership by signing an agreement for a new Human Resource Development Scholarship programme. The programme will provide opportunities for 13 Ghanaian public sector officers to study at top universities in Japan this year.

The total grant from Japan for this year's 13 scholarship recipients is 323 million Japanese yen, equivalent to US$2.1 million USD.

At the signing ceremony, Hon. Abena Osei-Asare, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, highlighted the positive impact of Japan's aid programmes in Ghana over the decades. "I want to acknowledge the excellent partnership between Ghana and Japan, and this partnership has resulted in a lot of positive programmes, making both economic and social impact in our country," she stated.

Hon Osei-Asare expressed confidence that the scholarship programme will bolster Ghana's public sector capabilities. "This programme we believe will strengthen and contribute to the public sector's human resource capacity building, resulting in officers acquiring the skills and knowledge well suited for our development aspirations," she said.

The Minister of State also provided an update on Ghana's economic recovery, noting GDP growth of 2.9% in 2023 exceeding initial projections. She said, "Growth is expected to continue in an upward trajectory to an average of 5% in the medium term. This growth we believe will be supported by industrialization, agri-modernization and SME growth."

She expressed the Ministry and government’s appreciation to the government and people of Japan for their continued support.

Mr. Naoki Ando, Senior Vice President of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), expressed Japan's commitment to the partnership with Ghana. "Ghana is the most important partner of our cooperation to West Africa...and the importance of Ghana cannot be underestimated," he stated.  

Mr. Ando spoke highly of past Ghanaian participants, saying "Ghana students were so competitive, and they're very clever, and they committed. So, I'm believing that this programme's graduates are working very good in your government."

He emphasized the value of experiencing Japan's unique development model, stating "Japanese unique development history, development experiences, and systems are really, you know, work in conjunction with other countries' experience. So, please, take our unique programme and get into, incorporate into your policy."

This new programme marks over 50 years of Japan's bilateral economic cooperation with Ghana, which has provided around $2.5 billion in aid to key sectors like infrastructure, healthcare and economic policy. Both nations hope the deepening partnership will fuel further growth and progress. END