Contributed article to The Japan Times by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio on the Occasion of Holding the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) in Tunisia

August 26, 2022
Prime Minister Kishida

Chance for Japan and Africa to build a sustainable world

Japan will host the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Tunisia on Aug. 27 and 28.
TICAD is a conference Japan launched in 1993 to assist self-supporting development in Africa amid declining international interest in the continent following the end of the Cold War. The conference, with a history spanning over a quarter century, is a pioneering forum on the development of Africa.
Today, Africa’s treasure chest of possibilities where population growth led by the youth is expected. For our part, Japan aims to be a partner that will grow with Africa and do all it can to help the continent’s efforts to achieve sustainable development.
The entire international community, not just Africa, now faces many social issues. Japan and Africa need to work hand in hand to overcome them for our future. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have destabilized energy and food prices around the world, seriously impacting Africa's economy and society. Furthermore, unclear and unfair development financing is undermining the prospects for sustainable development there.
Through TICAD 8, Japan aims to work with the continent to help realize a strong, sustainable Africa, using an approach that focuses on people. For example, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana and the Kenya Medical Research Institute are each playing a central role in their respective regions in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that Japan's many years of effort to develop human resources in Africa have borne fruit. Going forward, in addition to health and medical care, Japan will focus on green investing, supporting startups to help young people launch businesses, human resource development, and measures to strengthen free and open economic systems, including assistance in building high-quality infrastructure to improve the quality of life. In addition, we will work on specific initiatives that can contribute to making Africa's economy strong.
TICAD 8 is a major international forum where leaders from Japan and Africa will be able to discuss matters face-to-face for the first time since the pandemic began. It therefore provides a very important diplomatic opportunity. I hope to make this an opportunity for us to clearly show that Japan is a reliable partner for Africa, as well as for Japan and Africa to have in-depth discussions on specific measures to even more closely work together to create a sustainable world, with the post-pandemic era in mind. 

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