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18.07.2005 General News

Aliu solicits Japanese assistance

GNA

Accra, July 18, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Monday appealed to Japan to step up its financial assistance to women income generating groups to boost the drive of Ghana to combat poverty. He said his interaction with the Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Hajia Alima Mahama indicated that previous support to the women groups had helped to raise their standards of living.

Making the appeal during a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador, Mr Masamichi Ishikawa, at the Castle, Osu, the Vice President said making aid available to the women during the current farming season would be a timely intervention.

Alhaji Mahama commended Japan for its assistance to all sectors of the economy, citing the 80 million dollars loan the Asian country converted into a grant, for the funding of the Kasoa - Yamanransa road project.

"Japan has also provided five million dollars for the private sector, which is the engine of growth." Alhaji Mahama also recollected the assistance Japanese volunteer teachers had offered to the educational sector, especially in the promotion and science and mathematics, which he said were the weak links in the country's academic pursuit.

He expressed the hope that the Ambassador would continue the very supportive role of his predecessor, Mrs Kazuko Asai to deepen bilateral relations.

Mr Masamichi, who has oversight responsibility over the war-ravished Sierra Leone, advised Ghanaians to nurture the country's status as "the oasis of peace" in the West African Sub-Region. "I feel strongly how important it is to achieve peace through peaceful transition of power," he said.

Mr Masamichi pledged to strengthen bilateral relations, which he said dated back since Ghana gained independence 48 years ago. 18 July 05

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