Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is embarking on a four-nation tour of Africa to strengthen partnerships amid the ongoing decoupling between the U.S. and China, which is posing significant risks to sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth.

The African continent is becoming increasingly important as a potential partner for Japan and Kishida's trip highlights the country's commitment to forging deeper economic ties with the Global South. His visit comes on the heels of Japan's announcement last year to provide billions of dollars in financial support for Africa amid rising Chinese influence on the continent.

As China's engagement with Africa faces criticism over issues such as debt sustainability and environmental impact, experts argue that Japan should see an opportunity to provide a more sustainable and equitable alternative to the continent.