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Staff writer

Industrialized and developing countries should increase cooperation to halve, possibly by 2015, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty on the African continent and to promote the effective integration of African economies into the global economy.

This will be the main point of the agenda for action to be adopted next month at the second Tokyo International Conference on African Development, or TICAD-II as the forthcoming ministerial conference is more commonly known.

The draft of the action agenda, which was obtained Friday by The Japan Times, enshrines the basic principles of “ownership” and “partnership” for African development and also identifies specific actions to be taken by industrialized and developing countries.

TICAD-II will be held in Tokyo from Oct. 19 to 21 under the cosponsorship of Japan, the United Nations and the Global Coalition for Africa, which is a nongovernmental international organization established with the assistance of the World Bank.

The Tokyo conference will bring together Cabinet ministers and other senior officials from about 80 countries and 40 international organizations. Among African delegates will be the heads of state or government from 12 African countries.

Of the nearly 80 countries to be represented at TICAD-II, 53 will be African countries and 16 are aid-donor nations. The other 11 will be Asian countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, China, South Korea, India and Pakistan.

According to the draft action agenda for African development toward the 21st century, Africa is undergoing a profound transformation. “Since TICAD-I in 1993, a number of countries have emerged as open and democratic nations, which are beginning to achieve significant economic growth. “Sound political and economic reforms that promote democratic principles and facilitate market-driven economic activity has encouraged this resurgence,” the draft says.

The draft action agenda points out, however, that “widespread poverty and inadequate policies stunt individual potential in a sizable number of countries.”

“In most cases, the poorest segment of the population has yet to benefit from overall economic growth,” it says.

“Poverty and inequality contribute to political instability. Violent conflicts ravage the lives of many, and the foundations for durable peace and security remain fragile,” it continues.

The action agenda says that the goal of halving, by 2015, the numbers of those living in extreme poverty on the African continent should be attained through accelerated economic growth and sustainable development.

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