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General News
Japan Supports Ghana With 85 Million-Dollar Grant For Road Project 5/29/2008

President Kufuor meets Prime Minister Fasuo Fukuda of Japan

Japan yesterday announced an 85 million-dollar grant to support the construction of the Yamoransa-Kumasi road. Additionally, it has expressed readiness to make available further financial assistance in the form of concessionary loan that might be needed
to enable the entire stretch to be completed.

This followed bilateral talks held between President John Agyekum Kufuor and Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Yasuo Fukuda at the Intercontinental hotel in the port city of Yokohama, ahead of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV).

Ghana is one of the three countries in Africa, Japan has selected to focus its priority attention in terms of development co-operation and technical support and assistance of its Overseas Co-operation Volunteers in the execution of socio-economic projects in the remotest parts.

Speaking to the press after the closed-door talks, Mr Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to President Kufuor, said the Japanese Prime Minister also pledged his country''s commitment to help Ghana out to deal with its water and electricity shortfalls.

President Kufuor had requested for assistance to cope with the growing demand of the fast expanding communities.

Mr Fakuda, he said used the occasion to reinforce the determination of Japan to ensure that TICAD IV comes out with concrete measures and an action plan to drive the development agenda of Africa. Its policy recommendations would feed into the world''s eight leading industrialised nations (G8) summit to be hosted by the Asian country.

He also recognised the leadership President Kufuor was providing not only for Ghana but the Continent and said for this it had been decided that he should be part of the Outreach session of the G8 meeting, a rare opportunity given only to sitting Chairman of the African Union (AU).

President Kufuor conveyed the Continent''s appreciation to Japan for its development support, saying it has been a genuine friend of Africa.

Japan launched TICAD in 1993 to focus international attention on the importance and urgency of African development issues and this triggered the recent political and economic trend with China, India, South Korea, Brazil and the European Union (EU), all joining to establish partnerships with the Continent. He asked for Japan''s backing for the United Nations (UN) Security Council reform to help Africa to secure permanent membership seat on the Council.

President Kufuor had earlier addressed the Yokohama City Council, where he re-affirmed the importance Ghana attached to its relations with Japan and TICAD, the global framework for Asian-African collaboration in promoting the continent''s progress.

He said his expectation was that the three-day Conference would strengthen and boost Africa''s economic growth as well as enhance education, health and human security.

Besides, he said he was hopeful that it would impact positively on issues of the environment, climate change and create an action plan for mutually beneficial co-operation. Ghana and Japan had been drawn to each other for decades, a relationship anchored by Dr Hideyo Noguchi, the Japanese medical scientist, who died in Ghana in 1927 whilst researching into yellow fever.

Incidentally, it was in Yokohama, where Dr Noguchi launched his research career.

Mr Hiroshi Nakada, the Mayor said they were eager to build on the good ties between the two nations.

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Source: GNA

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