Japan will host the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Tunisia on Aug. 27 and 28.
TICAD is a conference Japan launched in 1993 to assist self-supporting development in Africa against the backdrop of the declining international interest in the continent following the end of the Cold War. The conference, with a history spanning over a quarter century, is a pioneering forum on the development of Africa.
Today Africa is a “treasure trove of possibilities” where population growth led by youth is expected. For our part, Japan aims to be a “partner growing together with Africa” and do all it can to help the continent’s efforts to achieve sustainable development.
The entire international community, not just Africa, now faces many social issues. Japan and Africa need to work hand in hand to overcome them for our future. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine have destabilized energy and food prices around the world, seriously impacting Africa’s economy and society. Furthermore, unclear and unfair development financing is undermining the prospects for sustainable development there.
Through TICAD 8, Japan aims to work with the continent to help realize a strong, sustainable Africa, using an approach that focuses on people. For instance, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana and the Kenya Medical Research Institute are each playing a central role in their respective regions in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that Japan’s long-standing efforts to develop human resources in Africa have borne fruit. Going forward, in addition to health and medical care, Japan will focus on green investing, supporting startups to help young people launch businesses, human resource development, and measures to strengthen free and open economic systems, including assistance in building quality infrastructure to improve the quality of life. In addition, we will work on specific initiatives that can contribute to making Africa’s economy strong.
TICAD 8 is a major international forum where high-level delegations from Japan and Africa will be able to discuss matters for the first time since the pandemic began. It therefore provides a very important diplomatic opportunity. I hope to make this an opportunity to clearly show that Japan is a reliable partner to Africa, as well as for Japan and Africa to have in-depth discussions on specific measures to even more closely work together to create a sustainable world, with the post-pandemic era in mind.