Japan signs $58.4m agreement with Ghana (Monday, April 3, 2017)

THE Japanese government has committed $56.6 million for the improvement of the Tema Motorway Roundabout and the 31.2 kilometre national trunk road, N8, from Assin Fosu to Assin Praso.

The funding is one of two grant agreements signed between the two countries last Friday as part of events marking 60 years of diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

The other agreement is a $1.8 million sector budget support to promote health service delivery in Ghana as part of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Poverty Reduction Strategy.

To be disbursed within 2017, the JICA grant will support community health activities in the three regions of the north for home visit activities of community health officers and strengthening of health systems.

Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Kaoru Yoshimura, signed the roads document on behalf of Japan while the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, endorsed the documents on behalf of Ghana.
 The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, signed the health sector support for Ghana.

The projects
The Tema Motorway Roundabout construction, which is already underway, is expected to be completed in 28 months and will have graded intersection.
Notorious for its heavy traffic congestion, the Tema Motorway Roundabout is a five-leg roundabout where traffic converges from Accra and Tema during rush hour.

The phase two of the N8 project on the other hand involves the rehabilitation of the Assin Fosu-Assin Praso road with asphalt concrete pavement and the dualisation of 1.2 kilometre section in the centre of the urbanised area of the Assin Fosu township.
It also includes the replacement of an existing railway overpass bridge with a box culvert and reconstruction/rehabilitation of drainage facilities between Assin Fosu and Assin Praso as well as the installation of a toll collection facility at the southern side of the Assin Praso township.

Strong relationship
At a ceremony that celebrated the long-standing relationship between the two countries since 1957, the Japanese Ambassador said the signing of the documents was “a proof of the strength of our relationship”.
Touching on the historical ties between the two countries, Mr Yoshimura pledged a deepened relationship between the two countries.

Japan’s Official Development Assistance to Ghana started in 1963, four years after it opened its embassy in Accra in 1959.
Apart from millions of dollars in aid, bilateral trade and strong relations, Japan’s footprint in Ghana also include the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, respected for its reputation for research into public health issues in Ghana.

Mutual respect
The Foreign Affairs Minister observed that the occasion was an important milestone to recognise bilateral partnership that had contributed to the country’s socio-economic development through Japan’s official development assistant.

She said Japan had remained a reliable friend of Ghana since the arrival of renowned Japanese scientist, Hideyo Noguchi, in the Gold Coast since 1927 to conduct research into yellow fever.

“The strengthening of relations between our two countries over the years has been characterised by our common desire to forge friendship and cooperation based on mutual respect and support for each other’s development aspirations, as well as solidarity in the pursuit of global peace, stability and security,” she added.


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