National / Politics

Japan mulling three-year, ¥1 trillion aid package for Africa

Kyodo

Japan is considering extending around ¥1 trillion in official development assistance to Africa over three years from 2016, a Japanese government source said Thursday.

The government would announce the financial aid toward the next round of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), the source said. Japan and African nations are planning a TICAD summit in Kenya next August.

Japan has been increasing its support to Africa amid the growing influence of China on the resource-rich continent.

Tokyo aims to expand the areas of its assistance from infrastructure development to nurturing industries such as agriculture and food, according to the source.

The government decided last month to focus on development in three regions of Africa — areas surrounding Kenya’s Mombasa port and Mozambique’s Nacala port, as well as West Africa including Cote d’Ivoire.

The next TICAD will be the sixth, and will be held in Africa for the first time. Many Japanese firms are planning to attend the meetings to pitch their products and technologies.

Like Japan and China, other donors including the United States, India and South Korea are holding similar meetings, boosting rivalries over development in Africa.