Communiqué of the First TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting
Gaborone, Botswana - 21-22 March, 2009
1. The Ministers and delegations of Japan and African countries, together with the representatives of other partner countries, international and regional organizations, private sector and civil society organizations, met in Gaborone, Botswana, on 21 - 22 March, 2009, at the First TICAD Ministerial Follow-Up Meeting after the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in Yokohama, in order to:
- Consider the TICAD IV Annual Progress Report (2008) and review progress in respect of the implementation of the Yokohama Action Plan, and
- Consider the impact, upon Africa, of the global financial and economic crisis.
2. The Meeting was co-chaired by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Botswana, and was officially opened by the former Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr Yasuo Fukuda, and Vice President of Botswana, H.E, Lt. General Mompati Merafhe.
3. The Participants noted that the negative impact on Africa of the global financial crisis had been fully articulated by African Heads of State and Government at the 12th AU Summit, in February, 2009, and encapsulated in the Addis Ababa Declaration on the Financial Crisis, which focused on the need for the international community to assist Africa's own efforts to mitigate the impact of the crisis, in terms of both practical measures and broader policy issues.
4. The Participants welcomed the offer by the Government of Japan, as co-chair, to convey this Communiqué, which reflects the views and concerns regarding the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on Africa, to the London Summit to be convened on 2 April, 2009.
5. The Participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the Government and People of the Republic of Botswana for the hospitality and for the excellent facilities placed at their disposal throughout the meeting.
Implementation of the Yokohama Action Plan
6. The Participants commended the progress achieved in many areas of the Yokohama Action Plan, and confirmed their commitment to maintain and, where possible, to accelerate delivery. The Participants placed particular importance on prompt assistance measures in areas such as infrastructure, that would generate employment, stimulate economic growth, and enhance regional integration, and expressed appreciation for ongoing efforts to do so.
7. The Participants reiterated the critical importance of closer synergy between the AU/NEPAD, RECs and TICAD IV programmes -- specifically the implementation of infrastructure development projects and programmes to promote trade and investment -- so as to more effectively achieve the goal of boosting economic growth and reducing poverty across the African continent.
8. The Participants acknowledged and welcomed the confirmation, by the Government of Japan, that it would faithfully fulfill the commitment made at TICAD IV to double its ODA to Africa, and to assist in doubling Japanese private investment in Africa by 2012. As part of efforts to accelerate assistance to Africa in light of the global economic crisis, Japan expressed its intention to expeditiously implement grant and technical assistance amounting to US$2 billion in this difficult period of crisis, and to actively mobilize the reaffirmed-pledge of ODA loans up to US$4 billion.
9. Recognizing the severe impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the poorest and most vulnerable members of society, the Participants expressed sincere appreciation for the Government of Japan's timely assistance in the form of approximately US$ 300 million for food and social safety nets to help mitigate the hardship felt by them.
10. The Participants were informed of and acknowledged facilities made available by the Government of Japan, including the US$ 100 billion equivalent loan provided to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as US$ 3 billion Bank Recapitalization Fund initiated by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). In this context, the Participants underlined the need for greater flexibility to be exercised in respect of African countries gaining access to such financial resources. They also welcomed technical assistance in financing, tailored toward African nations, by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as "Development Initiative for Trade," the Government of Japan's "Aid for Trade" programme.
11. The Participants expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the TICAD Process, since its inception in 1993, in helping to promote and sustain support for the African development agenda. Against the backdrop of the global financial and economic crisis, the Participants were of the opinion that the TICAD Process could serve as the platform for a strengthened, more inclusive global partnership for African development that benefits all African countries.
Message to the London Summit
The Impact on Africa of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis
12. The Participants expressed concern over the serious negative impact on Africa of the current global financial and economic crisis, including the decline in commodity prices, weakened import demand, aggravation of fiscal conditions, and marked reduction of private capital inflows, foreign direct investment, and remittances. The Participants shared a strong determination not to let this economic slowdown prove detrimental to Africa, and stressed the need for increased efforts by both African countries and development partners, aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Urgent Global Response to a Global Crisis
13. The Participants shared the conviction that it was time for closer synergy and coordination between and amongst African countries and their various development partners, in terms of policy development and the optimum use of financial resources, so as to ensure a sustainable economic growth trajectory across the continent. In this context, the Participants stressed the crucial importance for all development partners to honour the steady and effective implementation of all existing commitments.
14. They also agreed that global initiatives are needed to reactivate financial flows to Africa -- including ODA grants, concessional loans, lines of credit and additional instruments. In this context, African participants welcomed the vulnerability framework, as proposed by the World Bank, and other measures announced by African Development Bank. They strongly urged the London Summit to endorse and support such initiatives that include safety-net programmes targeted at the poorest and most vulnerable on the continent.
15. The Participants underscored the need for African countries to mobilize government funds and to pursue sound macroeconomic and governance policies to protect and expand critical development expenditures. The African countries committed themselves to improving their own financial and budgetary systems and decision making procedures to that end. Furthermore, they also emphasized the importance of policies to improve the investment climate in order to create a positive financing environment for the private sector and to stimulate foreign direct investment and private capital inflows.
16. The Participants underscored the significance of trade and investment to sustainable growth and economic development in Africa. They emphasized the importance of greatly enhanced market-access for African products in the global market, and the need to avoid protectionist measures that may prejudice industrial activities in developing countries. They urged every effort to be made to reach an early conclusion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda, in a manner that effectively addresses the concerns of the developing world.
17. They also underlined that sustainable economic growth in Africa required full cognizance to be given to the challenges posed by the impact of climate change across the continent, and urged the international community to increase the level of support extended to African countries for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures. In addition, they concurred that peace and stability were essential pre-requisites for sustainable growth and economic development.
Enhanced Partnership with Africa
18. The Participants commended the efforts of the G-20 to propose measures to address the global financial and economic crisis and take steps to accelerate recovery, including through the concerted implementation of stimulus packages and the establishment of appropriate facilities aimed at supporting restructuring efforts and improving economic resilience.
19. The Participants emphasized that measures to address the crisis should be informed by African voices, concerns and needs, and underscored that African countries had an important role to play in contributing to global economic recovery. The participants also observed that this is an opportune time to put in place a new Bretton Woods system that reflects the current global realities in the 21st century.
22 March 2009
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