• Kyodo


African leaders and their development partners will pledge to achieve “quality growth” and address security and poverty issues on the continent, according to a draft declaration for the upcoming TICAD conference in Yokohama.

The private sector is “a vital engine of growth” and the participants in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development will encourage greater private investment while seeking a better investment environment and legal framework, a copy of the draft showed Friday.

Leaders and delegates from more than 50 African nations are set to gather for the fifth TICAD summit from June 1 to 3.

In the declaration to be adopted at the end of the conference, the participants will likely pledge to accelerate infrastructure development, expand agriculture and agribusiness and create an “inclusive” society for growth to combat a widening gap between rich and poor.

With shared recognition that peace and stability are “prerequisites for growth,” the participants will “strengthen Africa’s capacity to create, nurture and protect peace,” the draft says.

Japan has been concerned about security in Africa following the deaths of foreign workers, including 10 Japanese, during the hostage crisis at a gas plant in Algeria in January. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to call on African nations to improve security, as his administration aims to encourage more Japanese companies to do business on the continent.

Cohosted by the United Nations and other international organizations, TICAD will focus on three pillars — building a strong and sustainable economy, creating inclusive and resilient societies where the benefits of growth are shared equally, and ensuring peace and security.

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