August 26, 2023
(A Thumnail Image) Prime Minister Kishida makes a remark through a video
Foreign Minister Hayashi makes a keynote speech at the conference
(Photo) Paticipants gather around the booth

On August 26, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan organized in Tokyo the TICAD 30th Anniversary Event - TICAD’s 30-Year History and Prospects -, commemorating that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), established in 1993. With the participation of Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Foreign Minister of Japan, and Mr. TAKAGI Kei, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, approximately 400 people from members of the Diet, Embassies of African countries in Tokyo, private companies, civil society, academics, and local governments, among others, participated in this event. At the event, booth exhibitions (English(PDF) Open a New Window/ Japanese(PDF)Open a New Window) were also organized, inter alia, by related Ministries and Government agencies, as well as international organizations. The outline of the event is as follows.

At the beginning of the event, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, made opening remarks with his video message (English(PDF)Open a New Window / French(PDF)Open a New Window / Japanese(PDF)Open a New Window). Prime Minister KISHIDA expressed his expectation that today’s discussion on TICAD's past progress and future prospects will pave the way to the future development and security of Africa. Following that, Foreign Minister HAYASHI made a keynote speech (English(PDF)Open a New Window / Japanese(PDF)Open a New Window). He pointed out that strengthening relationship with Africa is one of the utmost priorities and announced that he will build upon today’s discussions to establish a strategic partnership with Africa, bearing in mind TICAD 9 which will be held in Yokohama in 2025.

After that, with the participation of panelists from public and private sectors, three panels were held, and the panelists had vibrant discussions. The main points of the discussions are the following.

1. Panel 1: 30 Year’s history of TICAD

(Photo) Former Prime Minister MORI makes a celebratite speech
(Photo) Session1

At the outset of the Panel 1, Mr. MORI Yoshiro, Former Prime Minister of Japan, extended remarks to look back on the 30 years’ history of TICAD by touching upon his experience including the visit to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2001 for the first time as an incumbent Prime Minister of Japan and the establishment of Japan-African Union (AU) Parliamentary Friendship League in 2003, as well as by referring to the efforts made by the forerunners. In the discussions following these remarks, the panelists discussed TICAD’s achievement, value, and evaluation. The panelists confirmed the importance of "African ownership" and "international partnership" in African development that TICAD has put forth, and utility of functions of TICAD as a platform to promote involvement of various actors. In addition, the panelists pointed out the necessity of harnessing TICAD in order to accelerate measures to address such challenges as poverty alleviation and promote private investment. Furthermore, some panelists indicated that it is critical for TICAD to continue remaining as a framework based on the partnership, compared with other fora on development. At the same time, the panelists also recognized that, while Africa has achieved high economic growth since the establishment of TICAD, it is still necessary to further accelerate relevant measures.

2. Panel 2: Evolution of TICAD from assistance to investment

(Photo) Panel2

The panelists discussed how TICAD can be used to promote public-private partnership. The panelists also touched on the contribution of TICAD to sustainable growth of Africa, as well as the challenges for promoting business in Africa. Some panelists pointed out that the forms of African business have diversified, and that it is necessary to develop a clear sense of perspectives on African market by making TICAD serve as one of the opportunities for Japanese companies to expand business in Africa, after expanding first the economic activities of Japan. The panelists also pointed out various elements such as the importance of impact investment, matching African companies and Japanese companies, necessity of support for infrastructure of hardware, software and human resources, supporting Africa as an escort runner of sustainable development, the significance of promoting green growth in Africa, and the importance of collaborating with foreign companies.

3. Panel 3: Future of TICAD

(Photo) Panel3

The panelists discussed future role of TICAD, “quintessentially Japanese” approach and the role of Japan, based on the current difficult international situation. The panelists indicated the necessity of framing TICAD as international platform to tackle the global challenges including climate change and food security. Also, the panelists pointed out the importance of securing development resources and of promoting human resource development and technology transfer, start-ups, and innovation. In addition, some panelists expressed their opinion including the necessity of broadening recognition that Africa is an appealing field for business, the importance of tackling issues with all-Japan efforts to deepen the relationship between Japan and Africa, and the necessity of enhancing the visibility of TICAD.

Parliamentary Foreign Vice-Minister AKAGI and younger on the stage

After the three panels, Mr. AISAWA Ichiro, Member of the House of Representatives and President of Japan-African Union (AU) Parliamentary Friendship League, made remarks and highlighted the need to make TICAD more appealing to Africa, and called on making Africa “the continent of hope.” At the end of the event, Parliamentary Vice-Minister TAKAGI extended the closing remarks (English(PDF)Open a New Window / Japanese(PDF)Open a New Window) to summarize the discussions of three panels and to express his expectation for the future generations who shoulders the future of Japan and Africa. After that, Parliamentary Vice-Minister TAKAGI brought up the Japanese students and “African Business Education Initiative for Youth” participants and alumni who attended today’s event to the stage and introduced them. Representatives of the students shared their impressions of the event and their own visions on how to contribute to the relationship between Japan and Africa. At the end, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takagi stated that today’s discussion will contribute to TICAD Ministerial Meeting in 2024 in Tokyo as well as TICAD 9 in 2025 in Yokohama.

(Reference1)Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD)

Since TICAD I in 1993, TICAD had been held every 5 years until TICAD V which was held in 2013. In 2016, TICAD VI was held in Africa (Kenya, Nairobi) for the first time, and since then, TICAD have been held every 3 years. TICAD 8 was held in Tunis (Tunisia) and TICAD 9 will be held in 2025 in Yokohama. The Government of Japan has been leading this conference, co-hosted by United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and African Union Commission (AUC).

(Reference2)Participants of the Panel Discussion

Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 3

Back to Africa