(Lenana Hall, KICC, 28 August 2016)

August 28, 2016

His Excellency Mr. Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya,
Her Excellency Dr. Dlamini-Zuma,
Her Excellency Miss Clark, Administrator of UNDP,
Distinguished Representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very honored to attend this important event today, the global launch of the Africa Human Development Report 2016.

The report focuses on the acceleration of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa. This is critical to investing in the future of this continent.

Fully enhancing women’s capacity is a key to opening up a country’s potential in the future. This idea is explicitly reflected in the international and regional commitments including the 2030 Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063. Moreover, the AU designated year 2016 as the year to put particular focus on women’s rights. In this context, the launch of this report is very timely.

Two years ago, I visited Cameroon as part of the TICAD process, and mentioned that “Africa will shine, when African women shine.” Today, I am more confident that this is true, as I witness a number of women playing active roles here in Kenya.

With my sincere respect, I congratulate our close partner, UNDP, on completing this report in collaboration with the AU, under the leadership of Her Excellency Miss Helen Clark.

Distinguished guests,

Japan is determined to lead the world in this area. As a concrete initiative, Japan launched a “Development Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” in May, ahead of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit. It focuses on respecting women’s rights, building the capacity to reach women’s full potential, and advancing women’s leadership.

Japan will steadily translate its determination into action in Africa. For example, Japan is providing training for democratization of national police, including supporting the capacity development of national female police officers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Sudan, Japan is working on enhancing primary health care support to improve the maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates.

The concept of Japan’s commitment at TICAD VI is “Quality and Empowerment.” Japan is committed to further supporting women’s empowerment in Africa, including the implementation of the “G7 Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health,” which was announced at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, the promotion of maternal and child health, and women’s entrepreneurship.

Distinguished guests,

Africa is “the continent that shoulders the world’s hope”. The empowerment of women is nothing less than the key to realize this hope. Japan will further promote these efforts, in close cooperation with international organizations including UNDP, and importantly, hand in hand with the African partners.

Thank you for your attention.

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