Africa: TICAD 7 - Japanese PM Highlights Peculiarities

This was during a press conference he jointly granted with the Chairman of the African Union after the closing of TICAD 7 discussions and the adoption of the Yokohama Declaration 2019.

Following the close of deliberations at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, on August 30, 2019 granted a press conference highlighting the outstanding points and prospects of the just ended conference. He was assisted in the press conference by the Chairman of the African Union, Abdelfattah El-Sisi, who is the President of Egypt and other organizers of the three-day conference.

In his preliminary statement, Prime Minister Abe said Japan has the intentions of elevating its presence in Africa, reason for the businessprivate sector discussions that were held during the plenary session. He noted Japan underscores the importance of private sector development as a strategy in implementing some of the priorities of TICAD 7. Having presided at the TICAD initiative for three times, the Japanese Prime Minister said education and training for achieving "the Africa we all want" stands at the centre of activities adopted by his government and partners. He said Japan has since respected human security and the independence of Africa since 1993 when TICAD was instituted. "Business participation has doubled and our goal is joining hands to grow together for the future. Since 2013, we have started the "ABE Initiative 3.0" which trained thousands of Africans in various domains," he disclosed. Prime Minister Abe added that Japan has through its policy encouraged the participation of women in education and other aspects. "At least 4 million women. Will be offered education till 2020 to exercise leadership," he stated, adding the youth across Africa will continue to be given special attention given that they are the strength of the workforce of any economy.

The Japanese Prime Minister equally noted that in assisting African countries, consideration is paid on debt sustainability. "Steadfast growth as well as peace and security is what Japan seeks for Africa," Prime Minister Abe said.

Taking the floor, the Chairman of the African Union said discussions throughout the conference reflected joint actions for sustainable development within the framework of Agenda 2063 of the AU. Going by him, TICAD 7 provided the platform for dialogue on a variety of topics and the African Union will continue cooperating with Japan and other co-organizers of TICAD for the prosperity of the continent. Abdelfattah El-Sisi further stated that they held talks on the development of infrastructure as concerns railways, ports and general digitalization. Increasing the competitiveness of Africa worldwide, advancing on the African continental free trade zone and fostering integration, the AU Chair said are some of the subjects that came under deliberation in Yokohama, Japan from August 28 to 30, 2019.

TICAD 7, it should be noted held under the theme "Advancing Africa's Development through People Technology and Innovation," with Cameroon having a significant participation on deliberations through the Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, who was head of delegation. The next TICAD conference will be held in Africa in 2020 as stated in the Yokohama Declaration 2019 adopted by stakeholders at the close of TICAD 7 events.

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