Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan has announced a commitment of US$30 billion to support Africa’s development for the next three years of TICAD VI circle, which ends in 2018 using largely public-private-partnership means.
The investment will go towards developing quality infrastructure; building resilient health systems and laying the foundation for peace and stability which form the three pillars of the sixth edition of Tokyo International Development on Africa’s Development (TICAD VI).
Attracting over 10, 000 delegates, 35 African presidents and as many as 200 Japanese corporate sector leaders into the ‘Green City in the sun’- Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this sixth edition of TICAD was always going to be a landmark event, not least because it is being held in Africa for the first time ever since its inception in 1993 at the end of the Cold War.
But, more poignantly, the occasion buttressed two of TICAD principles – ‘African ownership’ and ‘International partnership,’ the latter finding expression in the participation of co-sponsors, United Nations Development Programme; World Bank; African Union Commission; United Nation’s Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (UNOSAA) and the Government of Japan in a ‘open forum’ format.
An outcome document of the conference, known as, Nairobi Declaration, was expected to be signed at the conclusion of the summit on Sunday 28th August 2016. Prime Minister Abe reiterated the significance of Japanese businesses at the conference in these few words, “Our hunch is that the time has come to make the best of Japan's capabilities, Japanese companies' capabilities, for the advancement of Africa, where you seek nothing but quality in your socio-economic development.”
To that end, Prime Minister Abe vowed that henceforth, Japan will launch the ‘Japan-Africa Public and Private Economic Forum’ as a permanent forum. Under this arrangement, members of the Japanese Cabinet, together with top executives from Japan’s major business associations and corporations, will visit Africa once every three years.
“They will meet with their African counterparts to pinpoint issues from the vantage point of businesses, identifying what needs to be done to enable Japanese and African companies to do more business together going forward. This makes it a forum bringing the power of the public and private sectors together to forge solutions,” he said.