Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday that Japan will provide Ghana with ¥11.2 billion ($102 million) in loans to build infrastructure, including a new bridge, as part of a move to enhance economic ties with the resource-rich country.
“The new bridge will improve the logistical environment not only for Ghana but also for the surrounding areas,” Abe told a news conference in Tokyo after his meeting with Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama.
Mahama also welcomed the plan to build the bridge over the country’s Volta River, saying, “This bridge would be very critical in improving transportation between the northern part of Ghana and the southern part.”
The leaders also agreed to cooperate ahead of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, or TICAD VI, to be held in Kenya in August, Abe said. It will be the first time that the Tokyo-initiated conference has been held outside Japan.
Japan also announced ¥2.3 billion in aid to build a research center to strengthen Ghana’s capability in responding to threats of infectious diseases.
The research center is set to be established at Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, a facility named after Japanese bacteriologist Hideyo Noguchi (1876-1928), who died in present-day Ghana while studying yellow fever.
The leaders also agreed to accelerate efforts to sign a bilateral investment pact to promote Japanese business operations in the African country, which is rich in natural resources and is politically stable.
It was Mahama’s second visit to Japan since becoming president in 2012.
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