Japan pledges funds for African development

TICADDelegates at the fourth edition of TICAD. (Image source: TICAD)Japan has pledged US$32bn in public and private funds for economic growth and sustainable development in Africa

The fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD), which took place from 1- 3 June 2013 in Yokohama, Japan, saw Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing that his country would contribute US$32bn to scale up TICAD’s agenda in Africa over the next five years, focusing on peace and stability, building sustainable economies and promoting societies.

Also, leaders from more than 50 African countries and international partners vowed to work hand-in-hand to deliver growth and sustainable development to Africa.

The funds from Japan will be expected to help Africa in areas including trade, infrastructure and private sector development, health, agriculture and agro-processing.

Delegates at the closing ceremony of TICAD issued the Yokohama Declaration, which has called on African countries to unleash the continen’s business and trade potential while improving well-being through agricultural development, job creation and promotion of food security.

Under the action plan issued at the event, Africa will aim for six per cent growth in the agriculture sector and a doubling of rice production by 2018 from its 2008 level.

UN Development Programme (UNDP) administrator Helen Clark said, “The challenge for Africa now is to transform economies so that agriculture becomes more productive, manufacturing flourishes and high value service industries emerge.”

UNDP was a co-organiser of TICAD along with the government of Japan, the World Bank, the African Union (AU) and the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (OSAA).

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