Prime News Ghana

Ghana, JICA sign $2.1m human resource development scholarship grant

By primenewsghana
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The government has signed a U$2.12 million (¥323,000,000) scholarship grant with the government of Japan to support building the human resource base of Ghana’s public sector for development.

The grant, signed on Tuesday, June 4, would see 13 public sector officers from Ghana go to study postgraduate programmes in economics, public administration, public health, and international relations in Japan.

This is being implemented under the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS), designed to equip Ghanaian public sector workers with the requisite expertise towards the country’s prosperity.

Madam Abena Osei-Asare, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, signed on behalf of the government, while Naoki Ando, Senior Vice President, of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), signed for the government of Japan.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Madam Osei-Asare said the programme would significantly strengthen and contribute to the public sector’s human resource capacity building.

That, she said, would result in public officers acquiring the skills and knowledge well suited for the country’s development aspirations.

“We are without no doubt that the signing of this grant agreement will further deepen and broaden our thriving bilateral cooperation for our mutual benefit,” the Minister said.

She recounted the gains that Ghana had made through the bilateral cooperation with Japan, which dates back to the early 1970s, highlighting various investments and projects.

She noted that cumulatively, Japan’s support to the Ghanaian economy in recent years totalled about US$2.5 billion, including the cancelling of a US$1.0 billion of debt under the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative in 2001.

Speaking about projects, she mentioned the Tema Motorway Roundabout (Phase Two) project valued at ¥3.656 billion (approximately US$33.2 million) and the Rehabilitation of National Trunk Road N8, totalling ¥6.849 billion (US$60,376,800).

Another project is the Improvement of the Healthcare System in the Northern Region, being supported with a grant amount of ¥2,455,000,000, equivalent to about US$20 million.

The grant aims to develop and procure equipment for the Tamale Central Hospital and improve the capacity of Savelugu Municipal Hospital, Bimbilla District Hospital, and Kpandai District Hospital.

Madam Yvonne Quansah, Director of External Resource Mobilisation and Economic Relations, Ministry of Finance, reiterated that the scholarship would boost the skills of Ghanaian public servants to drive its development agenda.

“It also solidifies our commitment to nurturing human capital and fostering knowledge exchanges between our nations,” she added.

Naoki Ando, Senior Vice President, JICA, said already, 117 Ghanaian public officers had benefited from the scholarship partnership, with 90 having graduated from various universities in Japan.

He stated that Ghana remained Japan’s most important cooperation partner in West Africa, serving as an economic hub and gateway to the region for Japanese companies, and reiterated his country’s continued support to Ghana.