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Ghana, Japan Sign Exchange Notes

The Governments of Ghana and Japan have signed an exchange note where the Government of Japan will provide two kinds of grant assistance for the Detailed Design of the project for the Rehabilitation of National Trunk Road Number 8 and the Sector Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) in support of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Accra on 27th February, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr John Evonlah Aggrey, mentioned that the facility has benefited about 150 SMEs in the country in the last five years and deemed to be the most popular of government’s on-lending financial facilities to the private sector.

He added that the funds from reimbursement from beneficiary firms, are utilised to provide public goods and services in the country and that various Ministries, Departments and Agencies including the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, Ministry of Education and the Ghana Cocoa Board have benefited from the funds over the years.

On his part, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Keichii Katakami, says the 60 kilometer trunk road which stretches from Anwiankwanta to Yamoransa contributes to Ghana’s social and economic development. It is part of a major trunk road network to Ghana that serves not only the nation but also the neighboring land-locked countries in the transportation of goods.

The first grant of one US1, 200,000million is for the Detailed Designs of the Project for Rehabilitation of the National Trunk Road (N8).

According to him emanating from the unstable political situation in Cote d’ Voire since 2002, the land-locked countries have become dependent on Ghana’s transportation. This has created a situation where the density of traffic has increased significantly and thus improvement of the road network has become a priority to ensure the safety and enhancement of the transportation system.

The second grant is a sector Non-Project Grant Aid, making available 11 million US dollars to the Government of Ghana to enable it open a lending facility on very soft terms for SMEs to import industrial machineries, equipment and raw materials.

Ambassador KataKami noted that though Ghana is making significant progress on improving business environment for the private sector, it is still not easy for the SMEs to acquire the necessary inputs for improving the quality of their products. It is gratifying to note that Japan has been extending support for Non-Project Grant Aid since 1987.

“The funds accruing from reimbursements from beneficiary firms will be deposited in Ghana Cedis into an Account with the Bank of Ghana.” he added.

Source: ISD (Thomasia Kimura and Constance A. Takyi)