Accra, Nov 13, GNA – Professor Ebenezer Oduro
Owusu, the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Ghana, says Ghana has lost out
on integrity as a nation with traits such as respect, nationalism, selflessness
and hard work diminishing.
“We use to walk around with pride in these
traits but now what is happening to this country….We need to ask ourselves for
all these,” Prof Oduro Owusu stated at the opening of the second edition of the
two day Centre for Asian Studies International conference in Accra, on Monday.
The conference, which is on the theme: “60
years of Ghana-Japan Relations Reflections on an Enduring Partnership for
Development,” is funded by the Japan Foundation.
Attributing the developmental strides of Japan
to their culture, Prof Oduro Owusu advised Ghanaians to bid their time by
working hard and making sure the country did not lose all of her culture.
He also bemoaned the Ghanaian culture of not
respecting time and urged the citizenry to adopt a positive attitudinal change
towards the practice, as in Japan, good time management is ethics of character.
“Japan has also developed because of their
respect for time,” he said.
Dr Lloyd G. Adu Amoah, the Acting Director of
the Centre for Asian Studies, called on stakeholders to build institutions
based on what the country want, especially at the level of industrialization.
There must also be room for experts and
knowledgeable people to be in charge, keep linkages and be strategic in the
next 60 years to help save Ghana in her relations with Japan and other
countries, he said.
Dr Adu Amoah also called on universities to
help by being a catalyst of thinking along areas of development.
Prof Kweku Ampiah, a Professor in Japanese
Studies at Leeds University, said for Ghana to catch up with her counterparts,
there was the need for suitable education as a transformational tool.
He has, therefore, called for an effective
universal primary education for Ghanaians and urged policy makers to take a cue
“By so doing, education will be extended far
so that human capacities can be utilised in our economy,” he said.
Mr Karou Yoshimura, the Japanese Ambassador to
Ghana, said Japan and Ghana enjoyed deep and friendly relationship, and that,
the conference was another landmark to further the bond.
Mr Yoshimura noted that Japan’s development in
the last 60 years had been as a result of democracy and foundation in economic
He mentioned peace and democracy as being
Ghana’s developmental pillars and attributed the country’s middle income status
to population increase.
Mr Yoshimura ranked Ghana as the third country
with the highest Japanese population of 346 in Africa with South Africa being
first with 1, 469 people.
In terms of Japanese companies in Africa,
South Africa maintained the first position with 280 companies whereas Ghana had
36, adding that “There has been an increase of 14 in the last five years in
Ghana,” he noted.
He said Nigeria has the largest number of
Africans in Japan with 2, 945 people, followed by Ghana with 2, 311 and South
Africa has 1,162.