By Elsie Appiah-Osei, GNA
Accra, March 8, GNA - The Embassy of Japan, on Thursday, signed an Exchange of Note and Grant Agreement for 92 million Yen with the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC).
The agreement is part of a project that aims to improve the quality of the State’s broadcasting channel, as well as enable better access to information by the public.
Mr Tsutomu Himeno, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, signed for his country; while Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration initialed for the GBC side.
Dr Mustapha Abdul Hamid, the Minister of Information, and some GBC staff witnessed the ceremony.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ambassador Himeno, said the agreement, which would also lead to the improvement in equipment for production of television programmes for the GBC, would also promote the sharing of cultural values between the two countries and their peoples.
He, therefore, called on the Management of the GBC to show Japanese programmes on their channels.
“We are happy that cooperation between Ghana and Japan are progressing,” he said. “Japan is a loyal friend to Ghana, and we are very happy to be recognised as such.”
For his part, Mr Horshi Hirofumi, the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Ghana Country Representative, said the support followed their visit to the GBC in August 2016.
He said, “We realised that almost all the equipment donated by the Japanese Government in 1985 have been well maintained for over 30 years.
“Therefore, the Government of Japan, through JICA, has agreed to support the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation based on your maintenance culture and I would kindly like to urge management of GBC to continue the same mechanism for the maintenance of the equipment.”
Mr Hirofumi noted that over the years, the partnership between JICA and GBC had expanded on all fronts adding that; “JICA has trained a lot of GBC staff in various areas in Japan and this support today would again deepen the relationship.”
Dr Hamid said the support was timely, especially when the President had the vision of energising state-Owned media to become competitive to the private ones.
“We want to take GBC to another level, though our image is not the best in the public eye, but with this assistance, we can revamp and meet the needs of the public,” he said.
Dr Hamid, therefore, challenged GBC Management and staff to be innovative and rise up to the occasion by taking the opportunity given them seriously.
Madam Botchway, for her part, said the support would promote the development and cultural aspects of Ghana and thereby contribute to the promotion of dynamic socio-economic growth that benefited people widely through strengthening democracy.