Ghana and Japan have signed a ¥1.4 billion which represents ¢117 billion non-project grant aid to complement Government's efforts toward poverty reduction.
The package, which came after an earlier one of ¢34.9 billion to support the health sector as well as the cancellation of Ghana's commercial debts, was expected to contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic standards of the citizenry.
At a short ceremony in Accra for the signing and exchange of notes at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Minister, Hon Nana Akufo-Addo said the non-project grant aid would focus on the provision of rural infrastructure such as schools, road and health facilities among others to improve the quality of life of rural dwellers.
“This grant could not have come at a more opportune time in Government's developmental programme for the country- a grant which will be appropriately and efficiently utilized.
“With the abundant natural and human resources, we look forward to improving rural economies which can sustain people, particularly the youth, who are critical for its advancement.”
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Masamichi Ishikawa, said his government had started by extending a facility of ¥500,000,000 to Ghana in 1987.
However, considering the efforts of Ghanaians toward open and competitive economies, the Japanese government had increased the amount to more than twice this year.
He expressed the hope that the gesture would strengthen the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries as well as help speed up the economic growth of Ghana.
“The government of Japan is following and observing with keen interest the economic performances and reforms of the government of Ghana.”
He noted that Japan believed that poverty reduction could only be achieved through sustainable economic growth.
The Ambassador used the opportunity to congratulate Ghana on her Golden Jubilee celebration and the President, John Agyekum Kufuor on his elevation to the chairmanship of the African Union (AU).