Japan invests $30b to support Africa’s transformation process

The Government of Japan is to invest a total of 30 billion dollars over the next three years, to support Africa’s transformation process.

This will be done through measures centering on developing quality infrastructure, building resilient health systems, and laying the foundations for peace and stability under public-private partnership.

This was unveiled by the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzu Abe, at the historic Sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD VI) held here at the weekend. It formed part of the TICAD VI Nairobi Declaration.

TICAD is an initiative by Japan to assist African countries in their efforts to develop. This year’s conference is historic because it is the first time it is being held on an African soil.

Although the five-year conference was last held in Yokohama in Japan in 2013 and has two more years to go, it was decided that the sixth TICAD should be brought forward because of new challenges which had emerged on the African continent, including the drastic decline in the prices of primary commodity products, the outbreak of Ebola, and the spread of violence and radicalisation on the continent.

The new initiative has the theme, “Quality and empowerment”. Mr Abe explained that the measures would include human resource development assistance for 10 million people (Empowerment) by making use of the strength of Japan (Quality).

It constitutes the first step for Japan to translate into action, the outcomes of the G7 Summit it hosted earlier this year at Ise-Shima.

As the host of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, Japan intends to steadily achieve the outcomes by utilising its excellent science, technologies and innovation, and this will be done under three areas.

The first area, “Economic diversification and industrialisation: Quality Africa”, which is one of the priority areas in the Nairobi Declaration, will see Japan steadily translate into action in Africa, the outcomes of the G7 Summit such as  the “G7 Ise-Shima Principles for Promoting Quality Infrastructure Investment”.

To that end, it will develop quality infrastructure as the foundation of the economy and promote the private sector’s activities as the core of economic activities.

It plans to implement quality infrastructure investment of approximately 10 billion dollars through such means as region-wide development, including the three priority areas where Japanese private sectors show their high interest (the Mombasa/Northern Corridor, the Nacala Corridor, and the Growth Area in West Africa), resources and energy development (example geo-thermal and high-efficiency power generation), and urban development (example urban transport development).

This investment will be implemented partly by utilising Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA), a joint initiative with the African Development Bank (AfDB).

From Jim Macauley, Nairobi, Kenya


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