Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet  
Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister TOP

The Fourth Tokyo International Conference
on African Development (TICAD IV)
Joint Press Conference

May 30, 2008
(Provisional translation)

[Opening Remarks by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda]

The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) was convened in Yokohama, Japan from May 28 to 30, as an unprecedented large-scale international conference. TICAD IV brought together representatives from 51 African countries, including 40 Heads of State and Government, representatives from 34 development partner countries and Asian countries, and 75 international and regional organizations, as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It was due to cooperation from many people, including the participants and the people of Yokohama City, that such a large-scale conference went well, and to schedule. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to everyone concerned.

Many people say, "Unless African issues are resolved, there will be no stability and prosperity in the 21st century." While Africa is still facing challenges such as conflict, famine, and HIV/AIDS, we see some positive developments in both political and economic spheres. The main objective of TICAD is for Japan, along with the international community, to vigorously support Africa to further enable countries to take their own steps "towards a vibrant Africa."

Many participants in the Conference expressed their appreciation of the concrete results brought about by the TICAD process over the past 15 years.

TICAD pioneers a new phase in our relationship with African countries, with a view to Africa's future prosperity. Out of such strong desire as ours, I announced, in the keynote address at the opening of the Conference, various initiatives of the Government of Japan, such as doubling Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) for Africa by 2012 and stimulating twice as much direct investment in Africa by the private sector.

The Conference adopted the Yokohama Declaration, which showed determined political commitment by the heads of each government towards African development. Lively discussion regarding priority areas of boosting economic growth, ensuring human security, and addressing environmental issues and climate change took place in the Conference from the viewpoint of supporting the ongoing remarkable economic growth in Africa.

The Conference also announced the Yokohama Action Plan, which listed more specific objectives under the Yokohama Declaration, and the establishment of the TICAD Follow-up Mechanism, both of which were welcomed by the participants.

At the Conference, we confirmed the importance of the key concept of the TICAD process: Africa's ownership (self-reliance) and partnership with the international community (mutual cooperation). In addition, we reaffirmed the importance of public-private partnership, partnerships with civil society, and Asia-Africa cooperation, and pointed out the critical role of the TICAD process in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Meanwhile, the Conference, including the High-level Panel Discussion on May 29, confirmed that the entire international community should urgently address the issue of the sharp rise in food prices and that comprehensive countermeasures in both the short term and medium to long term are necessary.

In their speeches, African leaders particularly stressed the importance of infrastructure development and trade and investment promotion, and expressed their desire for assistance in those areas. Many participants, including the heads of African countries and development partners, highly appreciated the Government of Japan's assistance for Africa conducted through the TICAD process.

On the occasion of the Conference, the First Awarding Ceremony of Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize was held in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and the participants applauded the prize for its contribution to the promotion of medical and health services in Africa. The TICAD IV African Fair 2008 and other Africa-related seminars, symposiums, and events seemed to bring Japanese people closer to Africa.

During the three days of the Conference, I had talks with a total of 46 people, including 40 leaders of African countries, while asking Mr. Yoshiro Mori, former Prime Minister of Japan, to chair the Conference. The African leaders gave me candid, valuable opinions on their impressions of TICAD IV and the current situation of Africa. The results of these meetings will be fully reflected not only in respective bilateral relations but also in Japan's measures for African development.

Japan will host the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in July. The participants expressed their strong expectation that the concrete results of TICAD IV will be reflected in discussions at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. I am determined to make my utmost efforts to meet the expectation that the participants placed on Japan.

[Opening Remarks by President of the United Republic of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (Chair of the African Union)]

It is the overall impression of African leaders that TICAD IV went well, with successful results. Such an outcome proved that the Conference had been well prepared by the Government of Japan and others including the United Nations (UN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank. I would like to thank Japan's leadership for establishing good relationships with us. Discussions at the Conference, including those at the opening session and the subsessions, were of high quality, covering almost all of the topics on Africa's future and development. I think that Africa's concerns were appropriately dealt with in the main themes of the Conference, which were boosting economic growth, ensuring human security, and addressing environmental issues and climate change.

I would like to express my appreciation of the strong commitment of Japan and other partners to increase aid, trade and investment, and to expand the involvement of the private sector. The Conference also properly focused on the issue of surging food and oil prices, and we on the African side are very satisfied. The Yokohama Declaration, the Yokohama Action Plan and the TICAD Follow-up Mechanism were adopted. I am particularly encouraged by the adoption of the Follow-up Mechanism, which is the first of its kind. The challenge we now face after the Conference is how we are going to implement these.

I am also encouraged by the fact that the G8 Summit will be held soon and that Japan will chair the Summit. It is a blessing that the issues discussed at the Conference will be discussed once again at the G8 Summit and shared more broadly, not only among TICAD participants. I will take care so that measures listed this time can be realized effectively through the Follow-up Mechanism.


Question 1: Although you have announced the doubling of ODA and private sector investment, African development requires the resolution of political instability and poverty as preconditions. Besides the temporary surge in food prices, disparities or gaps due to political instability and poverty also contribute to the current food issue. How are you going to solve these structural problems?

PRIME MINISTER FUKUDA: Both growth and development can be realized through peace and security. Japan, upholding its Peace Fostering Nation principle, will continue to extend its cooperation towards the consolidation of peace and peacebuilding in Africa.

Good governance is of course important for African countries.

Since 1993, when TICAD started, good governance has been spreading, conflicts have been resolved, and peace has been taking root.

It is important to ensure thorough education and to have respect for self-reliance, and, on that basis, to live in harmony together with others, pooling our abilities to deal with any difficulties that friends might face: ownership and partnership, in other words.

I think that, through dialogues with the people of Africa in the TICAD process so far, such a way of thinking is taking root.

Question 2: How will Japan and African countries respectively put the outcomes of TICAD IV into action?

PRIME MINISTER FUKUDA: At TICAD IV, the Yokohama Declaration expressed the participants' political commitment towards African development, and the Yokohama Action Plan announced specific measures to be taken in the next five years by Japan and other relevant countries and organizations.

Under the framework of the newly established TICAD Follow-up Mechanism, we will closely monitor the progress of assistance by Japan and other countries and organizations described in the Yokohama Action Plan.

In addition, the results of TICAD IV will be effectively reflected in discussions on African development at the G8 Summit, which I will chair.

PRESIDENT KIKWETE (AU Chair) :The answer to the question is "yes." Each country will respectively follow the items discussed at TICAD, and make the necessary decisions. The establishment, on this occasion, of the Follow-up Mechanism has been welcomed. The AU also will make efforts in monitoring and follow up.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS ASHA-ROSE MIGIRO: At TICAD IV, we discussed the three pillars of boosting economic growth, ensuring human security and achieving MDGs, and addressing environmental issues and climate change. This is related to UN efforts on the MDGs, such as convening the MDG Africa Steering Group: the TICAD process corresponds to the entire activities of the UN. TICAD has matured from a baby to 15 years old, with the establishment of a monitoring mechanism. The UN will mobilize various programs, in cooperation with concerned countries including Japan, the World Bank and relevant international organizations, towards the achievement of the MDGs.

ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP) KEMAL DERVIS: Many representatives from international organizations, in addition to those from African countries, participated in TICAD IV. As discussed at the Conference, Japan's aid to Africa is linked to UN systems. The UNDP will appropriately take part in TICAD follow up.

WORLD BANK VICE PRESIDENT FOR THE AFRICA REGION OBIAGELI EZEKWESILI: I have a point to emphasize. That is, African countries as well as related organizations should attend TICAD V with a score report. The World Bank is no exception. Japan announced an increase in its ODA loans for infrastructure development, the importance of which was stressed at the Conference by many African countries. The World Bank will also increase loans to many regional projects: we are advancing state or regional level cooperation with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This is concrete and visible. Concerning the field of agriculture, Japan showed strong leadership, and the World Bank, too, will double the amount of loans from 400 million dollars to 800 million dollars. These efforts are significant from the viewpoint of the connection of resources. TICAD, this time, emphasized the necessity of private sector involvement. Taking part in the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) seminar, we at the World Bank felt Japanese businesspeople's eagerness to know more about Africa. This is also visible. Like these individuals, we are full of energy to put things into practice.

Question 3: The Yokohama Declaration acknowledged the Cool Earth Promotion Programme. How are you going to link this result to Japan's leadership at the G8 Summit in terms of the prevention of global warming? Do you think that you gained understanding regarding Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council? How will you make use of TICAD IV's discussion at the Food Summit in Rome and at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit?

PRIME MINISTER FUKUDA: Based on the Cool Earth Promotion Programme that I proposed, I have been actively seeking understanding on the establishment of an effective post-2012 framework in which the major economies participate in a responsible manner. I am greatly encouraged by the fact that African countries through the Yokohama Declaration appreciate the Cool Earth Promotion Programme and our effort in establishing the next framework.

I will widen the circle of the Cool Earth Partnership in Africa in order to protect Africa from the negative impacts of climate change. As the Chair of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, I will continue to exercise leadership in the international arena, and make my best efforts so that progress can be made in establishing an effective framework to reduce CO2 emissions on a global basis.

Concerning the reform of the UN Security Council, Japan will pursue the early realization of the reform, including a permanent seat for Japan, in order for the Security Council to play a more effective role in maintaining the peace and security of the international community, including Africa.

The Yokohama Declaration of TICAD IV refers to the need for the reform of the UN Security Council. In addition, I explained Japan's stance on the reform and gained the understanding of African leaders in the course of more than 40 sideline meetings with them.

The Conference, including the High-level Panel Discussion on May 29, confirmed that the entire international community should urgently address the issue of the sharp rise in food prices, and that comprehensive countermeasures in both the short term and the medium to long term are necessary.

Paying heed to the voices of the African leaders and TICAD IV participants I heard, as the Chair of the Conference, on various issues such as climate change and the surge in food prices, I will incorporate TICAD IV discussions and concrete results into corresponding areas of discussion at the High-Level Conference, to be held in Rome in June, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in July.

Question 4: Why does Japan have such a great interest in assistance to Africa? Is it because of geopolitical rivalry with China and other emerging powers, or because of the purpose of securing natural resources and energy?

PRIME MINISTER FUKUDA: We started the TICAD process 15 years ago after the end of the Cold War, when international interest in Africa declined. At that time, ideas of rivalry with China or securing the resources and energy of Africa were inconceivable.

As I stated in the speech at the opening session, Japan, which recovered from the devastating war with the help of friends, is heartily aware of the importance of partnership.

I think that it is important to build partnerships to exchange insights and experiences between Africa and Asia including China as well as Japan.

We have been offering assistance that involves technical cooperation fitting for Japan, and have constructed lasting relationships with African countries.

Africa is a critical partner for Japan in a broad range of areas including politics and the economy, and we will promote cooperative relationships in various fields.