Foreign Policy

March 17, 2013

Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida hosted and served as co-chair of TICAD V (5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development) Ministerial Preparatory Meeting held on March 16-17 in Addis Ababa, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. An overview of the meeting is as follows:

1. Participants and Agenda

(1) Participants

The participants in the meeting included 46 ministerial-level delegates from 52 African countries. Participating were more than 1,000 people from 84 regional and international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Representing Japan was Minister Kishida, who co-chaired the meeting with H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, the host country.

(2) Agenda

March 16 (Saturday)

  1. Opening Session
    Plenary 1: Outcome Documents of TICAD V
    Plenary 2: Inclusive and Resilient Society – Contribution of TICAD to the MDGs Process –
    Plenary 3: Peace and Stability in Africa – Pressing Issues –
March 17 (Sunday)
  1. Plenary 4: Trade and Investment in Africa – Opportunities and Challenges –
    Closing Session

(3) Main points of discussion

In preparation for TICAD V scheduled for June in Yokohama this year, discussions at the meeting covered what TICAD V seeks to achieve and main points of contention as well as outcome documents to be adopted at TICAD V. The draft outcome documents were adopted at the ministerial level. With about two and a half months left before TICAD V, the participants confirmed that they would continue to work closely with each other to make that meeting a success.

2. Outline of Each Session

(1) Opening Session

At the outset, Minister Kishida reviewed the outcomes of the TICAD process during the past two decades since its inception. He expressed that Africa has now become a new source of hope full of bright light and TICAD V should be an opportunity to further brighten Africa’s rays of hope, illuminating all who live on the African continent. Minister Kishida also said that as the first effort in preparation for TICAD V, Japan had decided to provide assistance in the amount of about US$550 million, including a contribution of US$6 million to the African-led International Support Mission for Mali ((AFISMA), in order to ensure peace and stability, which are an important foundation for growth and prosperity. He expressed his determination to make TICAD V a success and called upon all participants for their cooperation, putting forth ‘Hand in Hand with a More Dynamic Africa’ as the overarching theme of TICAD V.”

(2) Outline of Each Session

Plenary 1: Outcome Documents of TICAD V
At the beginning, Minister Kishida stated that as the outcome documents were meant to be the compilation of African voices, a strong message should be sent through these documents that a dynamic Africa would aim at further growth. His statement was followed by words of approval by other countries. Participants went on to discuss drafts of the Yokohama Declaration 2013 and the Yokohama Action Plan 2013-2017 that were to be adopted at TICAD V. These documents were later approved by the participating ministers.

Plenary 2: Inclusive and Resilient Society – Contribution of TICAD to the MDGs process –
While participants made remarks mentioning TICAD contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they also shared the perception that many challenges remained in some areas, including maternal and child health, and that they had a sense of urgency in accelerating efforts to achieve MDGs. Some participants observed that to this end, it was necessary to maintain close cooperation with development partners in addition to efforts by African countries.
Furthermore, referring to new development challenges not fully addressed under the current MDGs, participants shared the recognition that the direction of African development, to be hammered out in the outcome documents of TICAD V, would constitute an important guideline for formulating post-2015 development agenda. They confirmed that TICAD V should exercise leadership in establishing these new development goals so that African voices would be better reflected.

Plenary 3: Peace and Stability in Africa – Pressing Issues –
Minister Kishida stated that the issues such as conflicts and instability were major impediments hindering development and growth and that the resolution of these issues was absolutely essential for Africa’s further progress. In this connection, he expressed that at the upcoming TICAD V as well, the international community should demonstrate its strong determination to fight against terrorism together with Africa and to establish a safe society in Africa. Almost all participants expressed gratitude to Japan for the $550 million aid as well as the past assistance provided by Japan.
While participants noted that Africa’s own initiatives for peace and stability, including those by the African Union (AU), had produced tangible results, they also called attention to the need for Japan and the rest of the international community to support these African efforts.
Moreover, it was pointed out that it was necessary to address the issues of underdevelopment, social and economic disparities, and governance. In particular, the importance of addressing unemployment among young people was singled out. In addition, the need for regional and international cooperation was also pointed out in tackling such issues as terrorism and piracy.

Plenary 4: Trade and Investment in Africa – Opportunities and Challenges –
The participants commended remarkable economic growth in Africa in recent years and stressed that expansion of trade and investment would contribute to economic growth led by the private sector. In particular, some participants voiced that multifaceted approaches, including the improvement of infrastructure and development of legal systems, were important to improve the business environment in Africa. They also noted the need for further support from development partners.
Many participants also pointed out the importance of developing infrastructure to underpin growth. They stressed that public-private partnership (PPP) should be aggressively promoted to meet strong demand for infrastructure in Africa.
Representing private companies, Yutaka Kase, Chairman of the Committee on Sub-Saharan Africa in the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), referred to the Japanese business community’s possible contribution to three areas – (1) infrastructure development, (2) establishment of a favorable business environment and (3) development of human resources – with the aim of vitalizing trade and investment in Africa. He also said that the Japanese business community would continue to cooperate in the expansion of trade and investment, creation of jobs, economic development and resultant eradication of poverty in African countries.

3. Chair’s Summary

The Chair’s Summary was released at the Closing Session as an outcome of the TICAD V Ministerial Preparatory Meeting

4. Bilateral Meetings

Minister Kishida paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, on the sidelines of his participation in the meeting. Minister Kishida held bilateral meeting with H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, and H.E. Mr. Demba Traore, Minister for Malians Abroad and African Integration, to exchange views on strengthening of relations between the two countries and work toward TICAD V. Minister Kishida also had talks and exchanged greetings with many participants.

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