Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > Section 3. Assistance for Each Region > 4. Africa (Sub-Sahara)

4. Africa (Sub-Sahara)

Japan's bilateral ODA to the Sub-Sahara African region in 2005 was approximately US$11,337.34 million, 10.8% of total bilateral ODA.

    Africa is a region in which issues such as serious poverty, conflicts, hunger, infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and malaria, and accumulated debt are concentrated, and it is a region which has an extremely low achievement rate for the MDGs. Japan believes that ownership on the part of developing countries is the key to achieving the MDGs. This ownership includes the establishment of stable political system and environments, human resource development, good governance, the management of sound macro-economic policies, and the mobilization of domestic financial resources. This ownership should be supported by partnerships among the international community which include bilateral donors, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

    Previously, Japan held the First Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 1993, the TICAD II in 1998, and the TICAD III in 2003, to advocate the importance of ownership of African countries and partnership with the international community. Such Japanese initiatives toward African issues have led the international community to enhance its efforts on African development. Moreover, on the occasion of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in 2000 for which Japan was chair, the presidents of South Africa, Nigeria, and Algeria were invited to Tokyo to hold talks with the G8 leaders. Since then, dialogues with African leaders have taken place at every G8 summit, and at each summit meeting Africa is raised as one of the main topics on the agenda. Specific cooperation efforts are expanding, including the G8 Africa Action Plan, which was adopted at the G8 Kananaskis Summit in 2002. Furthermore, at the G8 Gleneagles Summit in July 2005, the issues besetting Africa served as one of the main agendas, and various new measures to assist Africa were agreed upon, building on commitments made by the G8 thus far and the efforts of Africa itself.

    In addition, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was formulated in 2001 at the initiative of Africa. NEPAD aims for the reduction of poverty, sustainable growth and development, and the integration of Africa with the global economy on Africa's own responsibility and without depending on the aid from the international community. Furthermore, in 2002 the African Union (AU) was established as an expansion and reorganization of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The AU was founded with the goals of achieving greater unity and collaboration among the countries and peoples of Africa, as well as expediting the political, economic, and social integration of Africa, among others.

    At TICAD III in September-October 2003, the then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced Japan's initiative for assistance for Africa based on the three pillars, namely "human-centered development," "poverty reduction through economic growth," and the "consolidation of peace." He also announced that grant aid assistance totaling US$1 billion would be extended over five years in the BHN sectors such as health and medical care including measures against HIV/AIDS, as well as education, water and food assistance. At the same time, the then Prime Minister Koizumi stated clearly that Japan's assistance to Africa would place emphasis on the South-South Cooperation, through which developing countries which are more advanced in development provide aid to less advanced developing countries, and the perspective of "human security." The TICAD Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference (AATIC) was held in November 2004, and discussions were held on specific methods of African development via expansion of trade and investment, with focused attention placed on the situation of the rapidly growing trade and investment between Asia and Africa.49

    The TICAD process over the past 10 years has been highly appreciated by Africa, which has expressed a strong desire for the continuation of this process. Based on the achievement, the then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced at the Asia-Africa Summit held in April 2005 in Indonesia that Japan would host TICAD IV in 2008 and would double its ODA to Africa in the next three years. Moreover, the then Prime Minister Koizumi visited Ethiopia and Ghana from April to May 2006 and delivered a policy speech on Africa at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia. In the speech he announced Japan's intention to proactively support Africa's efforts in areas like the consolidation of peace and health care. He also announced assistance for resolving the Darfur issue, countermeasures for small arms and light weapons, counter-terrorism measures, assistance for NEPAD, and Japan's Action Plan in Combating Infectious Diseases in Africa.

    Through the TICAD process, Japan has provided various forms of cooperation to African countries such as agricultural development, promotion of trade and investment, social and economic infrastructure development, and humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in conflict-affected regions, which are all essential for Africa's economic growth. Ahead of the MDGs, Japan announced at the TICAD II in 1998 that it would provide US$90 billion in the areas of water resources, primary education and health and medical services. Over five years until TICAD III in 2003, Japan helped to develop access to safe water for 4.6 million people, develop access to education for 2.6 million children, and provide health and medical care to 240 million people, placing high consideration on the perspective of "human security." Also, to promote the South-South Cooperation, Japan has been providing third-country training to neighboring countries by utilizing cooperation bases within Africa and has been implementing technical cooperation jointly with other Asian countries. In particular, the Asia-Africa Cooperation is highly regarded as unique cooperation in that it utilizes in Africa the experiences gained by Asian countries that have achieved growth through the support of economic cooperation provided by Japan. Specifically, under this cooperation, distinctive projects are being implemented such as the development and dissemination of NERICA, and the promotion of private trade and investment through the Africa-Asia Business Forum and other means.

    In June 2005 the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Japanese Government announced the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA for Africa). The EPSA for Africa aims to comprehensively support private sector development in Africa focusing on the five main areas of improving the investment climate, strengthening the financial sector, developing economic and social infrastructure, supporting SMEs and micro enterprises, and promoting trade and direct investment. In March 2006 Japan decided on the provision of yen loans to the Road Improvement and Transport Facilitation Program on the Southbound Bamako-Dakar corridor, which is a major international highway connecting Senegal with Mali, as the first project for the EPSA for Africa. This project will take on construction work on the major international highway, improvements to the agricultural roads connecting to said highway, and other related construction work. It aims to increase the road's transportation capacity and improve access to basic social services in the regions along the roadway. In addition, this project is expected to stimulate the economy, to promote economic integration, and reduce poverty in the regions along the roadway.

Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister Masayoshi Hamada on a visit to Onatracom Bus Services, to which Japan offered assistance (Rwanda)
Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister Masayoshi Hamada on a visit to Onatracom Bus Services, to which Japan offered assistance (Rwanda)

    Moreover, as conflicts tend to become a major hindrance against development in Africa, it is extremely important to provide assistance aimed at the consolidation of peace. In February 2006 Japan, along with the other co-organizers of TICAD, held the TICAD Conference on Consolidation of Peace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and discussed effective ways to assist post-conflict countries. In addition, Japan announced a new initiative and that, as an immediate action under this initiative, it would extend assistance of approximately US$60 million in total by March 2006 primarily in Sudan, the Great Lakes region, and West Africa.

    In February 2005, Japan announced the "African Village Initiative." This Initiative aims to contribute to regions and countries which have been moving from reconstruction to the development process, for their accomplishment of the comprehensive local development, by implementing cross-sectoral assistance in response to the challenges and needs (improving the environment of basic education, supplying safe and sanitary water, improving the health environment, better food supply and catering business, and nutrition improvement) which recipient local communities have faced. Corresponding to this Initiative, Japan has implemented assistance to Senegal, Kenya, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

    Furthermore, 33 of the 40 countries in the world which are designated as heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) are in the African region. Japan is one of the countries granting the highest level of debt relief to these countries under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative (see Chapter 2, Section 2 for information on Japan's debt-related efforts).

    Chart II-29 Japan's Assistance Disbursements in the African Region

Chart II-29 Japan's Assistance Disbursements in the African Region