Video Message by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio at the Business Forum of TICAD 8 (in English)
August 27, 2022
I am KISHIDA Fumio, the Prime Minister of Japan.
Welcome to TICAD. It is my pleasure that we have the participation of business leaders from both Japan and Africa today as we convene this business forum. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend the forum, but I imagine that the floor is filled with enthusiasm.
This morning, I kicked off discussions at TICAD together with President Saied and President Sall. Over these two days, we will discuss how to inspire enthusiasm for further investment towards Africa.
I believe it is precisely the participants in this forum who serve as bridges between Japan and Africa. I hope that all the participants in this forum will strongly promote Japan-Africa businesses by investing in goods and services, human resources, and business ideas.
Japanese companies have developed human resources, transferred technologies to Africa, and worked hand-in-hand with local communities, winning trust accordingly from Africa for a long time. Recently, more and more Japanese entrepreneurs, seeking new frontiers, are trying out their new business ideas in Africa, which is sustained by its younger generations.
Japan and Africa are "partners who grow together" and who also work together to tackle the various social challenges faced in Africa. The Government of Japan will make its utmost efforts to support businesses in Africa. In particular, I would like to highlight the importance of support for startups, green investment, and investment to foster human resources.
2. Support for Startups
There is a growing trend in Africa that younger entrepreneurs are trying to address social challenges by way of doing business at the level of their local communities. Ten participants from Japanese startup firms are attending this forum.
In order to support these innovative initiatives, through public and private sector cooperation, the Government of Japan would like to help the efforts of startups working to initiate or expand their businesses in Africa.
At the same time, the Government of Japan continues to improve the business environment with a view to promoting investment towards Africa. We will establish bilateral committees on improvement of the business environment, as public-private platforms, to discuss and solve issues faced on the ground in four countries.
3. Green Investment
The second point is green investment. We would like to announce the establishment of Japan’s Green Growth Initiative with Africa. This initiative aims at structural transformations toward net zero, while responding to climate change. We aim to use Japanese technologies to accelerate green growth by capturing Africa's enormous potential for green growth and addressing its adaptation needs.
For this purpose, partnership with the private sector is indispensable. I would like to enhance this initiative together with all of the participants in this forum.
4. Investment in Human Resources
The third point is "investment in human resources." It is a quintessentially Japanese approach to develop human resources by utilizing various networks, including those in the private sector and academia. I will strongly promote investment that fosters human resources.
The Government of Japan would like to announce that the Africa-Japan Industrial Human Resource Development Initiative for the Future has been newly launched to develop human resources, targeting members of Africa's younger generations who contribute to industrial advancement.
We will provide education and training opportunities aimed at developing practical skills to 5,000 people over the next three years to cultivate future business leaders.
In addition to industrial human resource development, over the next three years, we will train 300,000 people across a wide range of sectors, looking ahead to the future.
In this forum, I look forward to private sector participants’ presentation of the outcomes on the business in Africa in this forum. I also hope this forum provides establishment of networking opportunities that will lead to future business expansion in Africa.
I understand that 33 Memorandum of Understandings will be newly announced out of more than 90 MOUs related to various sectors including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, and IT. I hope the signers of these MOUs will establish long-term partnerships through these efforts.
I would like end my speech with my sincere wishes for business relationships between Japan and Africa to be further strengthened through this business forum.