Policy Speech by H.E. Tsutomu Hata, Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry for Foreign Affairs
(6 October 1993, Tokyo)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to elaborate on the Prime Minister Hosakawa's keynote address. There are five main criteria of assistance by which Japan will translate its resolve into concrete policy measures.
First of all, Japan will endeavour to contribute to progress in political processes in Africa.
In order for African people to increase their sense of participation in the process of nation-building, it is indispensable to promote democratization. Japan has extended assistance to democratization processes both bilaterally and through participation in international efforts undertaken by the United Nations and other international schemes. Japan sent election observers to Namibia in 1989. It has also taken part in election monitoring in ten African countries over the past year. At the moment more than 50 Japanese are working in Mozambique to participate in the peace-keeping operation by the United Nations.
Secondly, Japan will continue to assist actively economic reforms in Africa.
The economic structural adjustment programmes will, in the short term, impose a heavy burden on their people. This adjustment policy, however, is a challenge they can not avoid if they wish to strengthen the foundations for further economic development. Japan will extend non-project type grant assistance totalling 650 to 700 million US dollars over the three years starting this year. This assistance will be directed mainly to the African countries which are pursuing economic reform programmes. Japan has also strongly urged continuation of the Special Programme of Assistance for Africa (SPA), and a new facility to succeed the present Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF).
Allow me to add, at this juncture, my hope that a new democratic South Africa could, in a near future, become engaged more actively with other African countries for further economic development of the continent.
Thirdly, Japan will actively assist human resources development, because it is indispensable for the effective pursuit of nation-building. In commemoration of this Conference, Japan intends to start an "African Youth Invitation Programme", to invite one hundred young individuals from African countries each year to take part in exchange activities with young Japanese. Japan would also seek to hold an Asia-Africa seminar somewhere in Asia next year, taking into account the discussions at this Conference, and the interest among the countries concerned.
Fourthly, Japan will pay further attention to environmental problems in Africa. This is necessary in order for economic development to be sustainable. Japan announced last year at the UNCED that it would substantially expand its environment-related ODA to approximately 7 to 7.7 billion dollars over five years. Japan has been extending cooperation to preserve the natural environment in Africa. Japan also intends to place a special emphasis on day-to-day life of African people, and formulated a project to develop underground water resources in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This project includes grant aid of 250 to 300 million US dollars over the three years starting this year. It is hoped that this project will help increase supply of hygienic water.
Lastly, Japan's ODA policy will be guided by its emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency of assistance. It will take into account the stage of economic development in each country, in accordance with the principles set forth last year in the form of the "ODA Charter". For that purpose, we intend to strengthen policy dialogue, and send more economic cooperation missions in our efforts to grasp accurately the need of African countries.
In order to help achieve sustainable development in African countries and to integrate them into the world African countries and to integrate them into the world economy, a comprehensive approach including trade, investment and debt strategy, as well as ODA, is necessary. In this connection, Japan is preparing a proposal on the issue of primary products on which the economies of many African countries depend. The proposal would be based more on the principle of market economy and new modalities of international cooperation on the issue would be sought.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim of the OAU stated at the OAU Summit this year that "Africa must cultivate the vitues of self-reliance, for there is no alternative". Japan reiterates its resolve, as a friend of Africa, to actively extend assistance so that this self-reliance by the countries of Africa will bear fruit.
Thank you very much.
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