The visit of the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, to Ghana, according to the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has strengthened existing strong bilateral, political and economic connections as well as people-to-people encounters between the two nations.
Ghana and Japan exchanged notes during this visit, the first by a Japanese prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi visited Ghana in 2006, when President Akufo-Addo was serving as foreign minister, regarding the improvement of Ghana’s capacity to produce rice seeds as well as the Human Resource Development Scholarship, which supports the education of young administrative officials in Japan.
It has also been reaffirmed that Phase II of the project to enhance the Tema Motorway Roundabout, which connects major highways including the Abidjan-Lagos corridor, is progressing well. This corridor is important for the development of the West African sub-region.
To support Ghana’s efforts through the Accra Initiative and other initiatives to secure peace and security in the Sahel region and the coastline states of the Gulf of Guinea, Japan will also provide USD 500 million in assistance over the next three years.
President Akufo-Addo said, “Relations between the two countries were born in 1927 when Dr. Hideyo Noguchi arrived on the shores of the then-Gold Coast to conduct research on Yellow Fever. Since then, there have been countless successful strategic partnerships and collaborations,” speaking after a very fruitful bilateral meeting “named the Dr. Hideyo Noguchi Street, upon my instructions, in addition to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research located at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, in memory of that illustrious son of Japan and in appreciation of the continued generosity of the good people of Japan to Ghana.”
Throughout this period, he continued, Ghana has been a “great admirer of the Japanese model of Development and of Japan’s technological advancement and I informed the Prime Minister, we were benefitting from his country’s wealth of knowledge and experience to boost our own development.”
Thus, this evening, he added, “we have discussed at length how to boost further our political and economic relations, cultural and people to people exchanges as well as our cooperation at the multi-lateral level.”
On Monday, May 1, 2023, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida landed in Ghana as part of an African journey that began in Egypt and would take him through Kenya and Mozambique.
The two heads of state, whose nations hold non-permanent seats on the Security Council of the United Nations, decided to push for significant reforms that would “reflect the changing circumstances of the world from 1945, when the composition and structure of the Security Council was established by the victorious powers of the Second World War.”
Consistent with Ghana’s position on Russia’s war, President Akufo-Addo maintained that, “as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain our independence from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism, Ghana became one of the five initiators of the historic non-aligned movement. Historically, we have always been against great power domination of the affairs of the world. It is a position we will continue to hold and that is why during the voting in the United Nation’s General Assembly, Ghana voted in favour of the motion condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Great powers, trampling on new and small nations and violating international law, are not things we welcome within our modest means, we will register our disapproval of them.”
Describing Ghana as a Ghana is a major economic hub of West Africa and an important partner with whom Japan shares fundamental values and principles such as democracy and rule of law, Premier Fumio Kushida, explained that, “the purpose of this visit to Ghana is to directly listen to the voices of Africa and to reflect such feedback in the discussions to take place at the G7 Hiroshima Summit.”
He said, Japan “has confirmed the importance of business and investment promotion between Ghana, the lynchpin of the West African economy, and Japan. Toyota, Nissan and Suzuki are operating assembly plants producing vehicles and these are great examples of our time. I also understand that Honda plans to set up an assembly plant by the end of this year. Another move which I hope will accelerate the business relationship between our two countries.”