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24.08.2005 Business & Finance

Japan, Ghana sign two grant aids for 44.85 billion cedis

GNA

Accra, Aug. 24, GNA - The government of Japan and Ghana on Wednesday signed two agreements under which the Japanese Government would extend two grant aids amounting to 44.85 billion cedis to the Government of Ghana.

The fist grant of 41 billion cedis is under the Non-Project Grant Aid scheme of the Japanese Government meant to provide support for the fiscal balance of payments in order to assist and facilitate economic structural adjustment programmes.

The second grant aid of 3.85 is under Japanese Government cultural grant to be used for projects to improve physics and chemistry equipment of the University of Ghana.

Mr Masamichi Ishikawa, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, signed for his country whilst Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, initialled for Ghana.

Mr Ishikawa said the aid was in recognition of the Government's tremendous success to stabilise the economy, adding that efforts to reduce budget deficit were already underway. He expressed the hope that the grants would further assist government's efforts towards implementing the projects. Mr Ishikawa said sound public finance and favourable economic conditions were crucial for development programmes because they provided indispensable environment to vital private sector activities. He expressed the Japanese government's appreciation to the strong commitment of government to the implementation and adequate management of macro-economic policies, which sometimes involved taking painful measures.

Mr Ishikawa said the occasion for the exchange of notes was a clear testimony to the confidence that Japan had in the people of Ghana, who have committed themselves to poverty reduction through economic growth, which is certainly an essential element for sustainable development. Nana Akufo-Addo said the generous offer underscored the very cordial relations and strong bond of cooperation that the two countries had continued to enjoy over the years.

"Indeed, we see this not only as a demonstration of Japan's continued confidence in the management of Ghana's development process by the (President) Kufuor Administration but also as a recognition of our judicious, transparent and purposeful utilisation of such grants." He said the importance of the two grants were obvious since everyone was aware of the dire need for funds for the renewal of infrastructure and for the provision of teaching facilities in the country's universities. Nana Akufo-Addo said the grant for the rehabilitation of the physics and chemistry equipment of the University of Ghana was a very concrete contribution to the improvement of quality of education in the premier university.

He said the Government had been pursuing a process of structural adjustment since the 1980s, which had entailed painful choices and sacrifices by the people.

Some of the difficulties had been due to the lack of funds to implement smoothly and speedily the envisaged restructuring and to mitigate its consequent difficulties. "We are glad the government of Japan has recognised this difficulty and is extending assistance to Ghana to facilitate the process." 24 Aug. 05

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