Achievement and Summary of the Joint Mission for Promoting Trade and Investment for Africa (The East Mission)

September 26, 2008

  The following is the Achievement and Summary of the Joint Mission for Promoting Trade and Investment for Africa. The Mission, headed by Mr. Nobuhide Minorikawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited the East African region from early to mid- September.

  This Mission, which was announced by then-Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda at the opening ceremony of TICAD IV in May, is the first big event to follow up the assistance measures that were proposed in TICAD IV, aiming at promoting trade and investment to boost economic growth in Africa.  The East Mission is the second of its kind, following the South Mission (August 30 - September 9).

 

1.  Dates    September 9, 2008 (Tue) - September 19, 2008 (Fri)

2.  Countries visited    Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Tanzania (in the order of being visited)

3.  Participants (60 members in total)

  • Mr. Nobuhide Minorikawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs (Head of Mission)
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; 4 government-related organizations (JICA, JBIC, JETRO, JOGMEC)
  • 25 private companies (companies from commerce, manufacturing, construction, heavy industry, finance, etc.)

4.  Achievement

(1) Strengthening of the relationship through direct talks with the head of state and government, cabinet ministers, and business representatives in each country

  • In the countries the Mission visited, a total of 15 meetings were held with political leaders including presidents and cabinet ministers. (Personal letters from Prime Minister Fukuda were handed over by Mr. Minorikawa.)  
  • Especially, Japanese companies exchanged opinions directly with high-level government officials in each country and built networks for the expansion of bilateral trade and investment.
  • The members of the Mission shared the strong desire showed by each African government to expand trade and investment with Japan in hopes of realizing economic growth in their country and overcoming poverty and other problems.
  • The members of the Mission learned that eastern African countries are enjoying political and economic stability and that they have a close relationship with Japan especially through economic cooperation.  They also shared the view that the natural resource potential in the region is expected to create business opportunities in the future.

(2) Strengthening of the business network through trade and investment seminars and others

  • Business seminars were held in each country visited, with the participation of high-level government officials including ministers, and local private-sector companies.  Each country made presentations on its economic situation including the trade and investment environment, and actively exchanged opinions with the Mission.  Japanese companies deepened their understanding of the politics, economy and market conditions in the countries visited, and local companies, too, understood where the interest of the Japanese companies lay.
  • Through individual exchanges of opinions, it served as an opportunity to open up business partnerships between Japanese companies and local companies.
  • The Mission also visited the Japanese companies which had already entered and played active parts in the countries visited, and factories of the industries which had high potential for development, to consult for the future development of business in eastern Africa.

(3) Economic Cooperation and Others

  • The Mission pledged to make steady cooperation such as improvement of infrastructure by economic cooperation, as a follow-up of TICAD IV.  Gratitude for Japan’s cooperation was expressed by the countries visited.  The Mission also visited the sites of Japan’s ODA projects in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania, bearing in mind the cooperation between ODA and private-sector companies.   
  • The Mission members shared board and room for the rather long period of ten days, and exchanged opinions about business in Africa including the exchange of information and business partnership between participating companies.  It also served as an occasion for a useful exchange of opinions between Japanese companies including those participating in local areas and officials of the Government of Japan.
  • Throughout the formulation of the Mission’s program, the governments of the countries visited were very cooperative, intending to promote their countries (as indicated by a great number of the government VIPs the Mission had meetings with). The Mission had meaningful and substantial visits (the Kenyan, Ugandan and Ethiopian Ambassadors to Tokyo returned to their countries to smooth the acceptance of the Mission).
  • The dispatch of the Mission was extensively reported in the countries visited. This made it possible to inform the people in those countries widely of the commitment of Japan.  

 

【Outline of Activities in Each Country】

1.    Republic of Kenya (September 10-September 12)

    (1) Talks with Government Leaders

      Round table talks with Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga and ten cabinet members (the Japanese side suggested setting up a “Business Environment Task Force,” and the Managing Director of Kenya Investment Authority agreed); Minister for Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula; Minister for Energy Kiraitu Murungi; Minister for public works and Acting Minister for Roads Chris Obure; Minister for Environment & Natural Resources and Acting Minister for Finance John Michuki (at the signing ceremony for the grant aid (700 million yen Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers)); and Minister for AgricultureWilliam Samoei Ruto.

    (2) Exchange of views with Business Circles

      On September 11, a dialogue with private-sector companies of Kenya was hosted by JETRO.  About 50 persons from Kenya’s private sector (Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), and Kenyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry) participated, and they exchanged views after a presentation by the representative of the Kenyan private sector.

    (3) Site Visits

      On September 11, the Mission visited one of the largest food processing companies in Kenya (Kenya Nut Company Ltd.) run by Mr. Yoshiyuki Sato.  On September 12, the Mission visited a farm (Cyan Roses) producing cut flowers, one of the major exports of Kenya, and a local company (Sammy Africa), which is engaged in wide-ranging business including manufacturing tires and selling tea in the Export Processing Zone (EPZ).
      On September 11, the Mission attended two ODA-related ceremonies: pledging ceremony for the “School Feeding Programme” in Kibela Slum in Nairobi, and the signing ceremony of the Grant Assistance for underprivileged Farmers.
      In addition, the Mission had an opportunity to meet with Samuel Kamau Wanjiru, the gold medalist in the Beijing Olympics men’s marathon.  Mr. Wanjiru, speaking in Japanese, emphasized the importance of self-help efforts and activated economic exchange between Kenya and Japan. 

2.    Republic of Uganda (September 12-September 14)

    (1) Talks with Government Leaders

      President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni; Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President James Baba; Minister of State for Economic Monitoring, Office of the Vice President Kagimu Kiwanuka; Minister for General Duties, Office of the Prime Minister Adolf Mwesige; Executive Director, Uganda Investment Authority Maggie Kigozi, Minister of State for Regional Affairs Isaac Musumba; Minister for Lands Omara Atubo; Minister of State for Industry Ephraim Kamuntu; Minister of State for Finance Fred Omach; Minister of State for Minerals Kamanda Bataringaya; Minister of State for Energy Simon D’Ujanga; and Minister of State for Transport Simon Ejua.

    (2) Exchange of views with Business Circles

      On September 13, a Japan-Uganda Trade and Investment Promotion Seminar was held under the sponsorship of the Investment Agency of Uganda.  After the Ugandan side gave a keynote lecture on investment promotion and a presentation on the country’s investment environment, the participants were divided into four sub-groups on agriculture, manufacturer, energy infrastructure and mineral resources in accordance with the interests of the Japanese side.  Both sides had active exchanges of views, and individual business talks were arranged by the Investment Agency.

    (3) Site Visits

      On September 13, the Mission visited an organic cotton shirt manufacturing factory (Phoenix) run by Mr. Yuichi Kashiwada for more than 40 years, and also a local company (Roofings) which has been successful in manufacturing ferrous material for construction by using raw materials imported from Japan.  On September 14, the Mission visited Uganda’s first-ever large-scale industrial complex, which is under construction.

3.    Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (September 14-September 16)

    (1) Talks with Government Leaders

      President Girma Woldegiorgis; State Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs TakedaAlomu; Minister of Finance & Economic Development Sufian Ahmed; State Minister Mekonen Manyazewal; State Minister of Trade & Industry Tadesse Haile and State Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development Abera Deresa.

    (2) Exchange of views with Business Circles

      On September 14, the World Bank’s Country Director for Ethiopia and Sudan made a presentation on inflation and foreign currency shortage in Ethiopia.

      On September 15, a meeting with Ethiopian businessmen was held under the joint auspices of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and both sides exchanged views actively.

    (3) Site Visits

      On September 15, the Mission visited  cut flower plantation sites, and the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), which is linked with several Commodity Exchanges in the U.S.  It also visited the North-West Trunk Road that was rehabilitated with Japan’s ODA.

4.    United Republic of Tanzania (September 16-September 18)

    (1) Talks with Government Leaders

      Vice President Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein; Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Mustapha Mkullo; Deputy Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing Cyril Chami; Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Adam Malima

    (2) Exchange of views with Business Circles

      On September 17, the Tanzanian Investment Centre sponsored a presentation meeting on the investment environment and opportunities and also a meeting for an exchange of views.  After the World Bank briefed on its project to promote private sector activities, they were divided into three sub-groups on energy and mineral resources, manufacturing industry (processing of agricultural produce) and infrastructure (construction and tourism), and actively exchanged views. This was followed by an individual exchange of views between companies of both countries.

    (3) Site Visits

      On September 16, the Mission visited the site of the Project for Widening of Kilwa Road, which is under construction with Japan’s grant assistance.  On September 17, the Mission visited Tanzania Cigarette Company in which a Japanese company invests, and a special economic zone.

(END)


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