Policy Speech of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Makiko Tanaka
on the occasion of the TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting
Tokyo, December 3, 2001
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am very gratified and honored that we are able to hold this TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting with the participation of nearly all African countries, Asian countries, developed countries, international and regional organizations as well as representatives of the private sector.
TICAD I was held in 1993 for African countries and their development partners to come together to discuss Africa's development, at a time when the attention of the international community to Africa was eroding sharply due to the end of the Cold War. Then, TICAD II in 1998 adopted the comprehensive programme with concrete targets called "Tokyo Agenda for Action". By hosting these past two TICAD meetings, I take pride that Japan has been able to make a significant contribution in heightening the attention of the international community toward the development of Africa.
When we look at the situation since TICAD II, we are happy to see that progress has been observed in the resolutions of some regional conflicts and civil wars in Africa. Also, a high rate of economic growth has been achieved in some countries. These are important positive signs. However, it is also true that in many countries, and in many fields, we have not seen as much progress as we had hoped for. In addition, there are new problems such as prevalence of HIV/AIDS at an alarming rate and the widening of digital divide. We can say that the challenges of Africa's development need joint efforts of African countries and the international community even more than before.
In this first year of the 21st century, Africa made two historical decisions. First, it established African Union (AU). Secondly, it adopted NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa's Development, as the basic blueprint for development. The international community needs to support these significant developments. I truly hope that these efforts by the entire African region will bear fruit and that NEPAD will be further shared by all the governments and people of Africa. NEPAD and TICAD share in common the two basic principles for development, namely self-efforts by Africans, or ownership, and their partnership with the international community. From this very perspective, keeping in mind of the potential synergy between TICAD and NEPAD, I propose to deepen the dialogue between the people working on these two initiatives.
As the world economy slows down, Japan also is determined to advance vigorous structural reforms without leaving any areas exempt, and ODA is no exception. However, Japan's commitment to support the African development is resolute. During the three years since TICAD II, Japan has implemented a number of measures in accordance with the Tokyo Agenda for Action. For example, with regard to the core problems that Africa faces including basic education, health, and supply of safe water, Japan provided a total of about 53.2 billion Yen in grants. With this, schools will have capacity to accept about 310,000 African children and about 2.7 million people will have access to safe water. In the field of population and health, the total beneficiaries, including the number of children who have received vaccination, are estimated to reach 170 million people.
Also, in last year's G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Japan as the host country, took the initiative to realize the first-ever meeting between the leaders of developing countries and G8 countries. We also helped to shed light on the need to fight against the infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS. In this regard, Japan for its part, announced "Okinawa Infectious Diseases Initiative." And encouraged by the results of this Summit, "The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria" was established, and Japan made a commitment to contribute $200 million.
Reiterating Japan's intention of continuing its support to African development, I would like to introduce some examples of concrete support measures.
First of all, African development requires wider participation of the private-sector. The importance of its role is increasingly recognized. We will extend active support in human resources development in order to contribute to enhancing the investment environment in Africa. Also, for the promotion of investment between Asia and Africa, Japan along with UNDP will hold the "Asia Africa Forum" in 2002 in government level. In 2003, the third meeting of "Africa Asia Business Forum" will be held, in which businesses can meet to explore business opportunities. Its latest meeting in Johannesburg in July 2001 reportedly generated $80 million worth of preliminary contracts. Similarly, in order to promote trade, investment, and technology transfer between Asia and Africa, we will work with UNIDO to expand the activities of the "Hippalos Center" based in Malaysia.
Secondly, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria are exerting a devastating social, economic, and political impact on African countries. As a measure for strengthening the fight against the infectious diseases, we will designate our infectious diseases control projects implemented in Kenya, Ghana, and Zambia as the three regional bases. We will strengthen coordination among them, and expand their activities for benefiting the surrounding countries as well. For the Francophone countries of Africa, we consider the possibility of designating Senegal as a new base for the same purpose. In addition, Japan will hold a workshop on the fight against HIV/AIDS in southern Africa in early 2002.
Thirdly, it is imperative to disseminate the benefits of IT, information technology, and to make active use of it in Africa's development. Based upon the IT Initiative adopted last year at G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Japan will implement a networking programme of distance technical cooperation called "J-Net" in Africa with the World Bank. In addition, Japan will use the IT Fund which has been set up at UNDP, and promote South-to-South training programs for the advancement of the IT in Africa.
Fourthly, Japan will forge networking of cooperation, by linking existing projects with one another. This will enable Japan to utilize these projects efficiently over a wider area. Concretely, we will support the establishment of the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) at Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology and Agriculture, as a center of networking projects for human resources development in Africa.
Japan has proposed the TICAD III to be held in the second half of 2003. I hope that in the Ministerial-level Meeting, there will be fruitful discussions on relevant issues of development toward TICAD III. Lastly but not least, I hope that this meeting will provide an opportunity for each one of us to step up our efforts for Africa's development.
I thank you for your kind attention.
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