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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Japan vows to boost investment in Africa as leaders gather in TICAD summit

MENA , Wednesday 28 Aug 2019
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe renewed on Wednesday Tokyo's pledge to boost investments in Africa through the country's private sector to help the continent's development, Kyodo news agency reported.

The Japanese prime minister's statements came during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which is being held in the Japanese city of Yokohama on 28-30 August. Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe are co-chairing the summit meetings.

President El-Sisi has called for intensifying scientific and developmental cooperation between Africa and Japan and to take advantage of the natural capabilities of the African continent in the diversification of energy sources, by supporting renewable and clean energy projects and thus contributing to controlling climate change's environmental effects.

During his speech before the opening conference, the Egyptian president said that the transfer of technology and programmes to support developing Africa's capabilities and human resources with the most up to date development tools are essential steps to achieve Africa 2063 development agenda goals and the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The TICAD conference aims at launching a new phase of strategic partnership between Japan and African countries based on mutual understanding, in addition to increasing Japan's contributions to Africa's development.

"The Japanese government will make the utmost effort so that the amount of private investment will surpass [its current pace], which amounted to $20 billion over three years," Abe said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the three-day international conference.

A total of $25.6 billion has been invested in the continent from the Japanese private sector since 2016, according to the foreign ministry.

"We will take every step to help Japanese companies make inroads in Africa," Abe added.

The seventh TICAD will focus more on business opportunities than previous meetings, as Tokyo believes investment by the private sector is crucial to realising sustainable economic growth of the resource-rich continent, whose population is projected to reach 2.5 billion in 2050, or a quarter of the global population, government officials said.

Abe also said that Japan will continue its human resource development programme for Africa, aiming to train 3,000 people over six years, who can contribute to the promotion of business between Japan and Africa.

Leaders or representatives from around 50 African nations and officials from international organisations are expected to discuss other topics such as the promotion of resilient and sustainable societies, as well as peace and stability.

The participants will adopt a joint declaration and action plans when they wrap up the conference on Friday. 

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