The Japanese Embassy in Accra has presented a grant of $943,461 to four communities and a media house for development projects in the health and educational sectors.
The beneficiary communities are Nsunfa-Sowutuom in the Ga Central municipality in the Greater Accra Region, Dededo in the Ho West District in the Volta Region, Dignafuro in the Wa municipality in the Upper West Region and the Wassa Amenfi East District in the Western Region.
The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) is the other organisation that is to benefit from the grant.
Provided under the Japan Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects (GGHSP) scheme, the beneficiaries are to support their people in the areas of health, education, water and sanitation and relief services.
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Tsutomu Himeno, signed for his country, while representatives of the beneficiary communities and the assemblies signed for their respective areas.
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The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, initialed for the GBC grant, while the Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, witnessed the ceremony.
The GBC is to receive $600,000 for the improvement of equipment for the production of television programmes; Nsunfa-Sowutuom had $88,986 to be used for the construction of drains in the area, while the people of Dededo are to receive $90,509 for the construction of a Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound, staff accommodation, medical equipment and furniture to improve access to health care.
The Dignafuro community will have $84,418 for the construction of a six-unit classroom block and a toilet facility for effective teaching and learning, while the Wassa Amenfi District is to receive $79,548 for the construction of mechanised boreholes for about 10 communities.
All the projects are expected to be completed within a year.
Mr Himeno described the relationship between Ghana and Japan as cordial and that Japan could be described “as a true and loyal friend of Ghana”.
According to him, the Japanese Embassy had, over the years, supported various sectors, such as education, health, infrastructure, among others, through its grant assistance projects.
The Country Representative of JICA, Mr Hoshi Hirofumi, expressed the hope that with the grant, GBC would help improve the quality of broadcasting.
He indicated that the grant was approved for the GBC following its ability to maintain earlier equipment offered the corporation by JICA in previous years.
Mr Abdul-Hamid expressed appreciation to the benefactors and pledged the government’s commitment to re-energise GBC to make it more relevant and competitive.
He urged the management and staff of GBC to come up with innovative content to redeem their image.