Japan, Africa Begin New Relationship

Japan, Africa Begin New Relationship

Africa has begun a new relationship that would transform the continent from aid reliance to self-sustainability with support from Japan and other development partners.

This was the focus of an event held on Tuesday by The Royal African Society (RAS), in association with the Government of Japan. Entitled, Japan & Africa: A new kind of relationship?”, in association with the Government of Japan, the event was a pre-cursor to the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 27-28 August.

The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Summit will be held at Kenyatta International Convention Center in Nairobi, Kenya on 27th -28th August 2016. This will be the first time TICAD is being held in Africa since its inception in 1993.

The event features two renowned practitioners in the field of international development, discussing the future of Africa. Professor Akihiko Tanaka, University of Tokyo and former President of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), appeared in conversation with Charles O. Boamah, CFO and Vice President of the African Development Bank.

Professor Tanaka believes that African countries will become invaluable to Japan in the coming decades, as growing business partners with huge market potential.

"Thanks to the tremendous efforts on the part of our African partners, economic performance in Africa has been great over the last 10 to 15 years. Based on such performance, on the part of Japan, we would like to deepen our consultations so that we are able to find mutually beneficial approaches,” Tanaka said.

The main objectives of TICAD are: to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and their partners; and to mobilize support for African-owned development initiatives.

"In the next meeting in Nairobi, we have to agree on a continuation of what has been successful and what are needed. This means we need to continue to emphasize development in new infrastructure including energy, electricity and continued emphasis in agriculture in Africa."

“We need to strengthen the trend of African development in the first decade of the 21st Century, improving human capacity, developing infrastructure and encouraging the private sector to increase investment. To do this, we need to improve efforts to deal with the decline in prices of primary products like oil; strengthen primary healthcare; and tackle the forces of violent extremism which have spread to parts of Africa.”

Charles Boamah said: “The priorities must be: to light up and power Africa, tackling the energy deficit; to feed Africa, looking at the whole food chain and improving productivity in agriculture; to industrialise Africa, tackling its low contribution to industrial trade; to integrate Africa, improving intra-regional trade; and to improve the quality of lives of Africans, in terms of jobs and skills.

“These must be done according to the principles behind TICAD – ownership and partnership. TICAD and Japan have always recognised that development starts with ownership of the process by Africans, with support from our partners and friends.”

Japan has now maintained a commitment to promoting peace and stability in Africa through collaborative partnerships for over twenty years. The emphasis of this partnership has always been on African ownership of Africa’s future and ensuring that global commitments from the international community are upheld.

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