A grant agreement to provide scholarship for young government officials to pursue post-graduate studies at some Japanese universities was yesterday signed between Ghana and Japan at a ceremony in Accra yesterday.
Under the $1.38 million-dollar grant agreement, the selected beneficiaries would undertake master’s degree in Economics, Public Health, Agriculture and Energy Development.
A Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles Owiredu, signed for Ghana, while the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana Mr Tsutomu Himeno signed on behalf of his country.
Dubbed ‘Japanese Grant Aid for Human Development Scholarship program’, the beneficiaries are required to contribute to an expanded and enhanced foundation for bilateral relations between Ghana and Japan and also take active roles in solving practical social and economic problems confronting Ghana.
In his address, Mr Owiredu said Ghana and Japan had been working together for decades now, in efforts to strengthen the economies of both countries.
He stated that through cooperation and engagements between the two countries, Ghana had received various forms of assistance from Japan in areas such as energy, health and education among others.
According to the deputy minister, human resource development was an essential tool for nation building and a backbone for a resilient economy.
Mr Owiredu indicated that the support would go a long way in improving the skill set of Ghana’s workforce and promote development in the country.
He expressed gratitude to the government of Japan for their unyielding support for Ghana’s socio-economic development.
“We are very grateful for this gesture and I wish to assure the government and people of Japan that the grant would be used for its intended purpose and for the benefit of the people of Ghana,” he added.
For his part, Mr Himeno, pledged his country’s continual support to the government’s “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda, adding “Our experience working with Ghana is rewarding and we will continue to offer our support as long as we can.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr Hirofumi Hoshi, revealed that so far 55 Ghanaians had benefitted from the programme since its inception in 2012.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU