The Ghana and Japan have signed Exchange of Notes, Record of Discussions and Grant Agreement for the Human Resource Development Scholarship Project (JDS) to the tune of 1.73 dollars to support human resource development in Ghana.
The grant amount will provide a scholarship to 10 young and promising Ghanaian government officials to obtain master’s degrees at four Japanese universities, including KOBE University, NAGASAKI University, University of TSUKUBA, and HIROSHIMA University.
The programme also targets others who are expected to engage formulating and implementing social and economic development plans and to become leaders in the country.
Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, signed on behalf of the Government of Ghana while Mr Tsutomu Himeno, Japanese Ambassador and Mr Herofumi Hoshi, Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed on behalf of Government of Japan.
Mr Himeno said Government of Japan believed that human resource development is key to fostering national development and the study focus of participants who would be granted the scholarship this year, would be in the area of Public Economics, Health, Agriculture and Energy.
He said these academic areas were chosen because the Ghanaian and Japanese governments considered them as strategically important areas in terms of strengthening human resources for Ghana’s national development.
“These areas are in line with the commitment made by our leaders at TICAD VI which included economic diversification, enhancing resilient health sector, promoting social stability among others,” he said, adding, the JDS programme therefore formed part of the steady implementation of TICAD VI commitments.
The Government of Japan has been offering scholarships to international students, including Ghanaian nationals, who wish to study in Japan through numerous scholarship programmes of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
He said over the years, the Government of Japan, through JICA, offers a variety of short and long term training programmes to Ghanaian government officials every year and about 400 Ghanaian government officials benefitted from these programmes last year.
He, therefore, expressed the hope that the selected participants for the scholarship programme would contribute to enhance bilateral relations between Ghana and Japan.
Ms Botchwey expressed her gratitude for the continuous support from the Government of Japan to Ghana’s socio-economic development in the various sectors of the economy, notably, Education, Health, Energy, Infrastructural development, among others.
She said the signing of the Exchange Notes and Grant Agreement would invariably complement the Government of Ghana’s on-going efforts to improve the Human Resource capacity of the country.
The Minister noted that so far, 45 Ghanaians have benefited from the project since its inception in 2012 and expressed the hope that the knowledge and skills they have acquired and yet to acquire in the various fields of study would put them in better positions to help with the development of the country.
“On behalf of the Government of Ghana and in my own name, I wish to extend Ghana’s sincere appreciation to the Government of Japan for its continued support for the socio-economic development of the country and for being one of Ghana’s reliable partners,” she added.
Mr Hoshi said in the area of human resource development, the Government of Japan, through JICA has instituted Human Resource Development programme in 2012 to train students all over the world.
He said since then, about 4000 Ghanaian government officials benefitted from the programme in the area of Agriculture, Engineering, Health and Energy.
He expressed the hope that the opportunity would enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health expressed his appreciation to Government of Japan and JICA for their numerous supports to Ghana’s socio-economic development.
He said they believed that “when you build the human resource of a nation, you are creating wealth” and thanked Japanese government for collaborating in that area.
He announced that Ghana is the only Africa country that qualified for the Human Resource Development Programme this year, adding, “this shows the cordial relationship between the two countries”.
Under the programme, the participants will also contribute to an expanded and enhanced foundation for bilateral relations between Ghana and Japan as persons having well-rounded knowledge of Japan.