A two-day meeting to discuss how to utilize African natural resources started in Tokyo on Thursday, with around 2,000 people, including natural resources ministers from 15 African nations, attending.
At the Japan Sustainable Mining, Investment and Technology Business Forum, or J-SUMIT, the African ministers will present their countries’ development policies, while Japanese researchers will demonstrate cutting-edge technologies to develop natural resources.
The meeting comes prior to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, known as TICAD, which will be held in June in Yokohama with the attendance of African leaders.
Alongside the forum, around 60 companies and organizations, such as Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and major trading houses, as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency, are holding an exhibition to showcase their efforts to promote natural and mineral resource businesses in Africa.
Africa is expected to become a huge market, with the population likely to exceed 2 billion in 2050. The region, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, has maintained high economic growth recently, attracting the interest of Japanese firms, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Separate data by the International Monetary Fund showed the region expanded by more than 6 percent between 2004 and 2007, and more than 5 percent every year since 2010.