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Japan renews support for basic education in Burkina Faso

© UNICEF Burkina Faso/2011/Tarpilga C.
His Excellency Tsutomu Sugiura, Japanese Ambassador to Burkina Faso, cuts the ribbon in the presence of the Minister of National Education and Literacy, Ms Odile Bonkoungou, and UNICEF Representative, Mr Hervé Périès

Ouagadougou 22 March 2011 – On 17 March 2011, an official ceremony was held for the opening of Sapaga-Peul school complex in the province of Ganzourgou, central Burkina Faso. The inauguration, chaired by the Minister of National Education and Literacy, Ms Odile Bonkoungou, was attended by Japan’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Mr Tsutomu Sugiura and UNICEF Representative, Mr Hervé Périès, as well as by administrative and political local authorities, religious and traditional leaders and the community.

Sapaga-Peul school was built at a total cost of US$ 78,300.00 (39,150,000 CFA francs) and was completely financed by the Government of Japan.

The President of the Student Parent Association took the floor to welcome the guests and conveyed the villagers’ satisfaction with the construction of the school. The Mayor of Zorgho, on behalf of the council, congratulated the Japanese Government and expressed his gratitude for the investment which is beneficial for the people of Zorgho, and especially for the children from the village of Sapaga-Peul.

In his speech, Mr Hervé Périès highlighted the dynamic strategic partnership between Japan and UNICEF. “Japan is one of UNICEF’s leading partners in Burkina Faso but also globally. Sapaga-Peul school, which we are inaugurating today, is a concrete achievement and is fruit of this partnership," he said.

The UNICEF Representative then renewed his gratitude to the Minister of National Education and Literacy for her personal commitment to education in Burkina Faso. He also congratulated the Japanese volunteers for their valuable contribution in promoting environmental protection activities in schools throughout the country.

During his intervention, Mr Tsutomu Sugiura said, "Japan believes that promoting education, particularly for children, contributes to a country’s growth and sustainable socio-economic development. It is on the basis of this conviction that Japan has provided grants to support the education system in Burkina Faso."

It should be noted that since 2000, Japan has invested 25 per cent of financial assistance for basic education through bilateral cooperation in Burkina Faso.

Ms Odile Bonkoungou’s speech stressed that the support of the Japanese Government falls within the framework of enhancing the quality of school programmes and the fight against the negative impact of climate change. "We welcome such initiatives in terms of their relevance and originality, at a time when our planet is faced with a gradual weakening of its ecosystem," she said.

The Minister welcomed the excellent cooperation between the Governments of Japan and Burkina Faso. She noted with satisfaction UNICEF’s positive commitment to supporting and strengthening this cooperation.

Before her closing remarks, the Minister urged the community and technical services of the Ministry of National Education and Literacy to put all their energy into ensuring that Sapaga-Peul school becomes a child-friendly and eco-conscious school.

© UNICEF Burkina Faso/2011/Tarpilga C.
This school aged child did not conceal her joy to attend school like her friends

UNICEF has received significant funds from the Japanese government (US$ 700,700.00 equivalent to 350,350,000 CFA francs) to promote the Child Friendly School concept and equity in access to education in Burkina Faso.

This contribution has resulted in the construction of six educational complexes equipped with boreholes, separate latrines for girls and boys, wash handing facilities, school gardens and solar panels in the six localities of Sapaga-Fulani Lalmogho (Ganzourgou) Hoggo Sambouel, Pétakolé, and Bomboel Sampelga (Seno). The funds have also led to the construction of four pre-school buildings in Burkina Faso.

A symbolic act of tree-planting brought the inauguration to a close.



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