Japan pledges 70tri/- to Africa

THE government of Japan has pledged 30 billion US dollars (about 70.3tri/-) in aid for development in Africa. Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the pledge during the ongoing 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held in Tunisia whereby Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa represents President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

During the conference, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida participated virtually, saying the amount would be given in three years to enhance environment protection, investment in particular for youth, health sector, industry and education.

“Though I am not with you physically at the conference, my intent to develop the African continent is still there. To start with, Japan will start ‘Japan’s Green Growth Initiative with Africa’ through which it will give 4 billion US dollars to public and private institutions in Africa to enable them implement this initiative,” he stated. He said Japan aims to boost investment, with the focus now turning to empowering the youth who start business companies.

“This will provide opportunities to the youth in Africa and Japan to work closely,” he stated. On improving the lives of Africans, Mr Kishida explained that through the African Development Bank (AfDB), Japan will issue 5 billion US dollars, which would include a fresh loan of 1 billion US dollars, seeking to enable African countries to relieve their debt burden. He said the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has given a lesson that there was a need for getting prepared to confront pandemics.

The Japanese PM said his government will also contribute about 1.08 billion US dollars to facilitate Africa’s fight against HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, Malaria and strengthening health systems.

“We will also strengthen human resources by building the capacity of experts in Africa. In the next three years, Japan is looking forward to building the capacity to 300,000 people from the African continent in the sectors of industry, health, nursing, education, agriculture, regulations and governance,” he stated.

About agriculture, recently Japan in collaboration with the AfDB disbursed 300 million US dollars to support African countries produce more food crops, whereby 200,000 players in agriculture sectors were empowered. In the meantime, Japan promised to donate food, worth 130 million US dollars, to help the African countries address food shortage.

Earlier, when opening the conference, President of Tunisia, Kais Saied, who is chairperson of the TICAD8, said African countries have abundant natural resources, but its people still face poverty.

“Through this conference, let’s look at how we can use those resources in order to get rid of poverty among our people. This is not a matter of an individual country, but all of us,” said President Saied. On his part, President Macky Sall of Senegal, who doubles as chairperson of the African Union (AU), said the African continent needed to be empowered for it to have reliable energy to produce its own products.

“We need to see African countries produce enough fertilizers in order for sustainable agriculture, we therefore welcome shareholders from Japan in the key sectors of production in many countries,” he remarked.

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