TICAD 2019: Japan to scale up investments in Africa
Twenty African heads of state participated in the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), which was held in Yokohama on 28-30 August under the theme “Advancing Africa's Development through People, Technology and Innovation.” The summit resulted in a three-year joint co-operation plan to move the Japan-Africa relationship from aid to business, and further increase Japanese private investment (estimated at USD 20 billion over the past three years). “We will do whatever it takes to assist the advancement of Japanese companies into Africa,” announced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the opening ceremony. Projects include: agricultural support to help Africa double its rice production by 2030; the construction of a Toyota car assembly plant in Côte d’Ivoire; and more vocational training and educational opportunities for young people, notably in the five Sahelian countries. On the side-lines of the summit, the African Union Commission and the OECD Development Centre organised a high-level policy dialogue during which the Centre’s director, Mario Pezzini, presented key findings from the second edition of the forthcoming report, “Africa’s Development Dynamics 2019: Achieving productive transformation.” The report’s action proposals aim to help firms transform their production structures, and harness opportunities such as the African Continental Free Trade Area Africa (AfCFTA). TICAD launched in 1993 to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners, and is the largest international conference held in Japan bringing together more than 4 500 participants. The next edition, TICAD 8, is scheduled to take place in 2022 and might be hosted by Benin.
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