A ceremony for the signing of the Exchange of Notes, Record of Discussions and Grant Agreement for the Human Resource Development Scholarship Project (JDS) between Ghana and Japan was held on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. In attendance was the Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. Also present was the Ambassador of Japan His Excellency Tsutomu Himeno and officials of the Japan Embassy.
At the ceremony, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (MP), underscored the government of Ghana’s commitment to ensuring that the human resource capacity of the country was improved for socio-economic development.
The Minister noted that the Japanese Human Resource Development Scholarship Project to Ghana amounting to 190 million Japanese Yen, approximately US$ 1.72 million for 2018 was part of the enormous contributions of the Government of Japan to Ghana’s socio-economic development as reflected in the various sectors of the economy notably, education, health, energy, infrastructure among others.
She pointed out that the scholarship project had helped to build the capacity of officials from various Government institutions such as the Ministries of Finance, Health, Agriculture and the Ghana Health Service among others.
She added that so far forty five (45) Ghanaians have benefited from the project since its inception in 2012. The Minister was hopeful that the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the various fields of study would put them in a position to help with the development of the country.
Hon. Botchwey further thanked the Government of Japan for the continuous bilateral cooperation with Ghana for the socio-economic development of the country.
Ambassador Himeno, who signed the agreement on behalf of his country indicated that his government believes that Human Resource Development is key to fostering national development. He added that the Scholarship was an addition to the existing scholarship programmes by his country for Human Resource Development in Ghana. He indicated that under the project, 10 Ghanaian Government officials will obtain this year’s scholarship to study for master’s degree in Japanese Universities such as the Kobe University, Nagasaki University, University of Tsukuba and Hiroshima University.
The areas of study according to the Ambassador will cover public economics, health, agriculture and energy. He said that the academic areas were chosen because the “Ghanaian and Japanese Governments considered them as strategically important areas in terms of strengthening human resource for Ghana’s national development” he added.
Ambassador Himeno further indicated that his Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) offered a variety of short and long term training programmes for almost four hundred (400) Ghanaian Government officials in Japan last year. He expressed the hope that participants for the training programme will not only acquire the knowledge and skills needed for tackling the socio-economic issues which Ghana faces or take up leadership roles in future but also contribute to enhancing bilateral relations between Ghana and Japan.
The Minister for Health Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu (MP), also expressed appreciation to the Government of Japan and JICA for their support for human resource development in the health sector. He added that when capacity is built in the sector it would enhance national development.