• Mochizuki Hisanobu (2nd from left), Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, exchanging documents with Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, Deputy Foreign Minister, after the signing ceremony
• Mochizuki Hisanobu (2nd from left), Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, exchanging documents with Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, Deputy Foreign Minister, after the signing ceremony

Japan supports ‘Accra Initiative’ with $500m

The Japanese Prime Minister, Kishida Fumio, has committed $500 million to the “Accra Initiative” to help deal with the emerging insurgents of terrorists in the Sahel region and also secure peace and security in the coastal states in the Gulf of Guinea.

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 He said the money would be provided within the next three years, and added that there would be more support for the initiative.

The PM applauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his role in introducing the initiative and other efforts to secure peace and stability in the region.

“Economic growth would not be attained without peace and stability, he said”.  

Mr Fumio announced this at a dinner held in his honour at the Jubilee House in Accra as part of his two-day official visit to the country.

It is the first visit by a Japanese Prime Minister in the country in 17 years.

The initiative is the pooling of efforts and intelligence gathering by coastal and Sahelien West African states to coordinate efforts to deal with rising terrorism cases in some member countries.

It is also aimed at strengthening security through the exchange of operational information and intelligence.

It was started in September 2017 by Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Togo, and later joined by Nigeria.

Tour

Mr Fumio is on a four-nation tour of Africa where he would hold talks with their leaders.

He is currently in the country after visiting Egypt in his seven-day tour.

The rest are Kenya and Mozambique, and will stop over in Singapore on his way back to Japan.

Agreement

The two leaders later signed two agreements.

The first was on rice production while the second agreement is on human resource development training in Japan.

Mr Fumio also described infrastructure as a foundation of development and, therefore, said Japan would cooperate with Ghana to secure the phase two of the Tema Motorway Roundabout project.

He said that had become necessary because roads served as a link to communities and cities, including major highways such as the Abidjan-Lagos corridor road.

The PM further said that he was holding discussions with some Japanese businesses that were interested in investing in Ghana.

He said the Honda company would be establishing its plant in the country by the end of this year after Toyota and Suziki which were already assembling cars in Ghana.

“Japanese companies are introducing business models that are deeply rooted in Africa, and I am hopeful that our business relation will further blossom,” the PM said.

He said due to the unique bond between Dr Hideyo Noguchi and the country, Japan had over the years supported Ghana in the health sector, including the Noguchi Memorial Research Institute.

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The PM said although Dr Noguchi died in Ghana in 1928, he had established cooperation between the two countries which, he said, was growing stronger.

“Also, Japan has long been providing assistance in capacity-building of young administrative officers, and Ghana is the first African country to engage in the programme under which 100 officials had so far benefited,” Mr Fumio added.

He said his presence in the country was a demonstration of the strong collaboration between the two countries, he said.

President Akufo-Addo expressed gratitude to Japan for its continuous assistance to Ghana through programmes under the Africa Business Education Initiative, the oversees development assistance scheme, including its support during the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, among others.

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The President said Ghana was a great admirer of the Japanese model of development and technological advancement, and gave the assurance that the country will collaborate with Japan to find solutions to poverty, irregular migration, insecurity, human rights violations and drug trafficking, among others.

He added that the country had benefited from the wealth of knowledge and experience from the Japanese to boost development.

President Akufo-Addo also said that Ghana was counting on the support of Japan to reach a favourable agreement with the International Monetary Fund to pave the way for the economic recovery of Ghana's economy.

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