Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Accra, May 17, GNA- Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Thursday said Japan’s continued financial support to Ghana’s development is a manifestation of the strong bonds of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation.
He noted that Japan had remained “a true friend” of Ghana, providing grants and financial aid as well as technical assistance for her socio-economic development in spite of the challenges she faced since last year’s massive earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing nuclear disaster.
Alhaji Mumuni made the observation at the signing of Grant Aid Agreements for the Development of Human Resource Scholarship estimated at about 989 million Japanese Yen ($12.4 million) and project for the development of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in Upper West Region, estimated at 114 million Japanese Yen ($1.4million).
He recounted that the Japanese Government had provided $4.1 million to Ghana under the Grant Aid Agreement for multi-donor budget support programme for 2011, $2.4 million, under the grant agreement for the sector budget support for the health sector programme and food aid grant for $12 million in the same year.
During the first quarter of 2012, there was a signing of grant aid agreement in respect of the $4.3 million multi-donor budget support and the sector budget support for the health sector amounting to $2.5 million.
“Undoubtedly, Ghana’s democratic credentials, political stability and her reputation for sustainable management of the economy have earned international goodwill and the confidence of development partners including Japan,” he stated.
Alhaji Mumuni pointed out that the interventions would help the Government in its efforts to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and assured Japan that Ghana would ensure the grants were used judiciously for the intended purposes.
Mr Naoto Nikai, Japanese Ambassador  said under the CHPS programme, Japan would assist Ghana in constructing 73 compounds  and procure the necessary equipment for 80 CHPS compounds in the Upper West Region.
The programme, which was launched in 1999, was to improve access to health service and promote health care at the community level.

This intervention targets the Upper West Region, where people’s accessibility to all CHPS, compared to other regions, is limited to make them accessible to all Ghanaians by 2015.
“In selecting the sites for constructing CHPS compounds, Japan prioritised deprived areas where health services are currently under-served and where it is difficult for other development partners’ aid to reach,” Mr Naoto said.
He said the project, in addition to addressing the people’s need to access health services, was to promote community empowerment by involving Ghana’s local businesses and using local equipment and materials in the process of implementation.

He expressed the hope that the project with Japan’s ongoing technical assistance on maternal and child health as well as Japanese health volunteers working in the Upper West Region would help Ghana to accelerate her efforts toward achieving the MDGs on maternal and child health by making substantial progress against the indicators in the Region.
Mr Naoto said the grant aid for human resource development scholarship was a six-year scholarship programme, which would provide four batches of five Ghanaians, mainly young government officials, with opportunities to study at Japanese Universities to gain Master’s Degrees.
The programme is to equip these students with necessary knowledge and expertise to facilitate the social and economic development of Ghana in future.
For 2012, capable young officials have been selected from the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Ghana Statistical Service and Bank of Ghana to study economics and from Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service to study health policy in September.
He noted that this agreement was an addition to existing efforts by Japan, in offering scholarships to international students including Ghanaians who wished to study in Japan through programmes of the Ministries of Education, Chieftaincy and Culture, Youth and Sports, Environment, Science and Technology.
“I hope that the students who are going to Japan under this new scholarship programme will have great learning experiences and return to Ghana with knowledge and skills necessary to make substantial contribution to this country. The programme would contribute to the overall human resource development in Ghana,” he added.

GNA

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