Official Development Assistance (ODA)
14. Support for Africa -- A Global Challenge

Most countries in Africa, unlike those in Asia riding on the path of amazing growth, are still not on the track for sustainable development. The Economic Communique of the Lyon Summit of industrialized democracies mentions that "..... Africa continues to face unusually severe challenges." Solving the problems of African development is a matter of serious concern shared by the international community as a whole.

Japan has been increasing its aid to Africa. Japan's ODA to Africa now accounts for about 10.1% of the total achievements by all the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member countries. For seven of the 47 African countries, Japan is the largest donor among the DAC members. To work out a development strategy for Africa, recognizing successful experiences in Asia, is an important task for Japan, although the Asian model cannot be automatically applied to Africa without due considerations to different conditions between the two regions.

It was against such background that the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) was held in Tokyo in October 1993 under Japan's sponsorship. The Tokyo Declaration stressed the importance of self-help efforts by African countries and set forth tasks to be tackled for African development. The declaration was epochal also in that it called on not only traditional aid donors but also Asian countries to cooperate for Africa's development. Reflecting the post-TICAD follow-up efforts to promote Asian-African cooperation, African countries are taking a growing interest year after year in the spectacular economic growth of Asia.

Further to the above, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yukihiko Ikeda announced a set of ambitious initiatives on assistance to Africa in April 1996 at the Ninth Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The initiatives are:

(1) Japan will host the second meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II) in Tokyo in or around 1998.

(2) As an initiative to support human resources development, Japan will promote assistance for education in Africa (amounting to $100 million over the three years beginning in 1996), focusing on primary education, invite 3,000 trainees over the next three years beginning in 1996, and make available $2 million out of its contribution to the Japan UNDP Human Resources Development Fund to promote South-South cooperation particularly between Africa and Asia.

(3) Japan will positively contribute to the international target of eradicating polio in African countries by the year 2000.

Graph : Chart 15 Trend in Japanese ODA to Africa (On a Net Disbursement Basis)