TICAD meets again, for the fifth time, in Yokohama. Coinciding with the Golden Jubilee for the African Union, dozens of heads of state from across the continent will bring their passion, zeal and renewed confidence over here to tell us in unison that Africa is now leading global economic growth. Official Developmental Assistance still matters, yet it does more as a catalyst for attracting private investment. The public-private partnership is the key to facilitating private investment and achieving a private-led growth in the continent.
At the meetings, I am going to stress the importance of infrastructure, education and employment, which are absolute necessities, mutually reinforcing, to drive the continent onto an even faster trajectory. Now is the time to further strengthen close ties between Japan and Africa for materializing a true win-win relationship. I will soon reveal a comprehensive package to that very end. One important focus is empowering women in Africa. Women are the most important for building an inclusive and resilient society.
I am very proud of many of my heroes and heroines: those young Japanese working as volunteers and social entrepreneurs who are contributing to Africa.
Twenty years ago when we began TICAD, the talk was about “aid fatigue.” Time flies. I for one would like my country to fly higher hand in hand with a more dynamic Africa.