Building capacity to help Africa trade better

TICAD Ministerial Meeting in Maputo, Plenary 1: Economic transformation for Africa’s growth


TICAD Ministerial Meeting in Maputo, Plenary 1: Economic transformation for Africa’s growth

TICAD Ministerial Meeting in Maputo, Plenary 1: Economic transformation for Africa’s growth
Photo credit: Kwesi Quartey via Twitter

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in Maputo, Mozambique

At the outset, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the participants for sharing their robust and constant efforts to steadily implement the policies contained in the six priority areas of the TICAD V Yokohama Declaration, its Action Plan, the three pillars of the TICAD VI Nairobi Declaration and its Implementation Plan. The two sets of reports you have in front of you present the progress made during the past year, highlighting respectively the African and international efforts and Japan’s efforts.

First, allow me to take this opportunity to explain how Japan has been working on the implementation of the commitments made at TICAD V and VI.

At TICAD V in 2013, Japan announced an assistance package for the growth of Africa to expand public and private means of up to 32 billion US dollars from 2013 to 2017, including 14 billion US dollars’ worth of Official Development Assistance. At TICAD VI, Japan committed to invest for the future of Africa amounting to approximately 30 billion US dollars between 2016 and 2018 under public-private partnership.

Today, I wish to report to you all that Japan has disbursed approximately 5 billion US dollars since 2016 and the amount of our assistance from 2013 to 2016 has reached 26.7 billion US dollars. I believe that such contribution has driven forward economic transformation for Africa’s growth and promoted the realization of human security and resilient society.

Secondly, I would like to share my thoughts on the international partnership for Africa’s development and the progress made in that respect.

It is Japan’s firm belief that without self-sustaining growth and peace in Africa, which embraces 1.2 billion people, with its economy growing at a higher rate than the global average, we will never achieve international peace and stability. That is why the international community as a whole must be involved in Africa’s development.

To this end, TICAD has, since its inception, engaged multiple actors including non-African countries, international and regional organizations, private sector and civil society to stand united under the principle of partnership and ownership.

Here, I would like to highlight some good practices of trilateral cooperation, being promoted for African development.

The Governments of France and Japan are steadily implementing the “Franco-Japanese Plan for Sustainable Development, Health and Security in Africa”, which lead to the signing of a memorandum of cooperation in the area of sustainable cities by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire, France Development Agency (AFD) and JICA.

The Governments of the UK and Japan are co-funding NGOs’ activities on landmine clearance program in Angola.

Furthermore, last year, the Prime Ministers of India and Japan agreed to promote cooperation and collaboration with a view to synergize their effort in the areas of capacity building, health, infrastructure and connectivity in Africa.

These are just few examples of enhanced international partnership Japan has been working on for African development.

Needless to say that African ownership is the key for achieving long-term development. Sustainable development cannot be carried out without Africa’s firm will and engagement. I would like to emphasize that the Africans are and will always be on the driver’s seat of any international partnership including the trilateral cooperation that I have just mentioned, for African development.

Thirdly, I wish to add few words on the challenges ahead and the way forward.

Despite the significant progress we’ve made to date, we need to scale up our efforts to achieve our targets. Huge potential still remains in the field of private direct investment. Good governance, diversified economy, and basic infrastructure are keys to promoting domestic and foreign investment, and I would like to call on our African friends to further their reform efforts in these key areas. The Government of Japan stands ready to provide necessary support and will continue to facilitate Japan-Africa business partnership.

Our efforts for sustainable growth should not be hindered by security concerns such as conflicts, acts of terrorism and the spread of violent extremism. Global challenges of climate change and environmental degradation should not stand in our way neither.

Rapid growth and urbanization should not endanger healthy communities. There were lively discussions this afternoon during the side event on “African Clean Cities Platform” with the participation of local authorities. We need to intensify our cooperation and collaboration to tackle these human security issues and build resilient society.

All the views and information shared during this session regarding the implementation of our commitments made at TICAD V and VI form an invaluable basis for more effective measures in the future. I hope that we will have a more concrete and in-depth discussion on the way forward along the substantive agenda items during tomorrow’s sessions. To conclude, I wish to thank once again all the participants for actively engaging in the follow-up activities of the TICAD process.

Thank you for your attention.


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