The Japanese government says it is exploring various areas of co-operation to support of Ghana’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) preparedness.
Miyashita Tadayuki, Deputy Director General of the Department of African Affairs, Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that new collaborations and partnerships were necessary in addressing economic and security challenges that confront the world.
Addressing a virtual meeting on March 16, he said the support would be tailor-made to enable Ghana to lead and own her development process.
The meeting forms part of events in preparation for this year’s Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), a summit-level conference on Africa’s development initiated by Japan in 1993.
He stated that Agriculture, infrastructure development and COVID vaccine support were some of the priority areas that would be given the needed attention to enhance the country’s growth.
Scheduled for August 27 and 28 and expected to be held in Tunisia, this year’s event would be the eight edition of TICAD.
Prior to the TICAD 8, the TICAD Ministerial Meeting would be held online on March 26 and 27.
Mr Tadayuki stated that owing to the considerable socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa, Japan was of the view that now was the time to work together internationally.
“Through the TICAD8, Japan will strongly support African-led development and aims at setting out a pathway for African development looking ahead to the post-COVID-19 era,” he added.
Presently, Japan, he said, was providing support to Ghana and other African countries through three thematic areas such as economy, society and peace and stability.
On the economy, Mr Tadayuki noted that Japan rolled out the African Business Education initiative that aimed at developing 3,000 industrial human resources over six years and promoting the maritime and shipping industries through port infrastructure and provision of shipping equipment.
In the area of society, he said Japan was promoting access to universal health coverage and providing quality education while strengthening governance for peace and stability.
Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kato Ryuichi highlighted the significant achievements of initiatives undertaken to help Ghana and other African countries bounce back from the effects of COVID-19.
Key among them, he noted, was the support for vaccination to help fight COVID-19 through the provision of cold chain and medical equipment to establish an effective and safe vaccination system.
He further recounted the impact of the Next Innovation with Japan (NINJA) project, which provided support to start-ups that produce innovative business models and innovation that respond to changes in social structure and economic activities.
Mr Ryuichi said deliberations from TICAD 8 would inform JICA’s support to Ghana and other countries in building a resilient, inclusive and prosperous continent.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS