Ghana has completed the signing of two grants agreements with Japan worth $35.50 million for the second phase of the Tema-Motorway Roundabout construction project and the rehabilitation of the National Truck Road, N8.
The grant consists of $33.20 million for the construction of Phase II of the Tema-Motorway Roundabout Project, which entails the construction of a flyover linking the Tema-Harbour Road to the Akosombo Road.
Japan also agreed to provide an additional support of $2.30 million for the rehabilitation of National Truck Road, N8 Phase II, the Assin Foso-Assin Praso Section. The additional support brings the total amount for the N8 project to approximately $60.38 million.
The grant will make a significant contribution to Ghana’s transportation sector, especially given the increase in vehicular traffic, combined with a rapidly growing urban population. The two projects would facilitate trade and transit in the West Africa sub-region, improve safety along the corridors and boost trade in the local economy.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister who signed for Ghana, expressed gratitude to the Government and People of Japan for their kind gesture on behalf of the People and Government of Ghana. He also thanked them for their appreciable contributions to Ghana’s development efforts over years.
COVID-19 Support from Japan
In addition, the Minister expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Japan for its COVID-19 support to Ghana whilst noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a debilitating impact on Ghana and many other places.
Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that Ghana, like most countries, was really hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic and social impacts. However, he reminded that even as there was a contraction in the region of about three percent, “the Government managed to get a positive economic growth of about 0.4 percent due to the strong economy that we have built in the first four years of the administration.”
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, Ghana is one of the six-top countries that were praised for their response to the COVID pandemic. He pointed out that about 10 percent of Ghana’s population have had one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. He assured his Japanese counterpart during the signing of the agreement that the Government would continue to aggressively pursue the COVID-19 vaccination program.
Facilitating trade between West African neighbors
On his part, Mr. Araki Yasumichi, Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ghana Office, who signed for Japan, stated that the Tema-Motorway Roundabout Phase II Project would further improve the functions of the interchange. According to him, the project would positively and directly contribute to the operation of the Tema Harbour and also facilitate trade between Ghana and her neighbors such as Togo, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast.
Mr Araki explained that the additional grant amount for the rehabilitation of the N8 (Phase II), which is currently underway, has become necessary to bridge the costs incurred from the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the temporal suspension of construction works.
The Chief Representative of the JICA iterated that JICA would continue to work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Ghana Highway Authority and other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the two projects.
Mr Araki revealed that JICA is utilizing Japanese technological capacity to its maximum extent to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ghana.
“Japanese cooperation has contributed to providing over 760 kilometres of national trunk roads, a number of bridges in the past.”Araki Yasumichi
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Kwasi Amoako Attah, Minister of Roads and Highways, urged the Ministry of Finance, JICA and the Ghana Highway Authority to “let’s ensure that no bottleneck was placed in the way of project implementation”.