The Preparatory Conference for the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-II)
10 - 11 November 1997
Co-chairs' Summary Report
- The Preparatory Conference for TICAD-II was held from 10 to 11 November 1997, in Tokyo, under the co-chairmanship of Ambassador Kunio Katakura, Chief Coordinator of Japan for TICAD-II, and Ambassador Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, Executive Secretary of the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA). The conference was attended by senior officials from 46 African countries, 9 Asian countries, 13 donor countries and 6 international and regional organizations. The meeting was addressed by His Excellency, Mr. Albert Tevoedijre, Minister of Planning, Economic Restructuring and Employment Promotion of Benin, on behalf of the participants and by Mrs. Thelma Awori, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, on behalf of the United Nations.
- The main objectives of this Preparatory Conference were (i) to review progress made since TICAD-I, (ii) to identify the main themes for an"agenda for action", and (iii) to set up a "preparatory committee" to formulate the "agenda for action"for consideration at TICAD-II. It was indicated that TICAD-II aims to further promote the emerging partnership for the sustainable development of Africa. It was also noted that, although TICAD-II, like TICAD-I, will be a non-pledging conference, it was expected to be action-oriented.
II. Post TICAD-I Review and Areas for future Cooperation
- In reviewing African development since TICAD-I, it was agreed that African countries have made significant progress on all fronts, particularly in the area of economic and political reforms. It was noted, however, that significant challenges remain with respect to the social situation, the low rates of investment and savings, and the limited diversification of production and exports. Furthermore, Asia-Africa cooperation has improved substantially and Asia is now a major investor in Africa. Even though ODA is declining, there is also a strong renewed interest in Africa at the international level spurred by these positive changes.
- Based on the developments in Africa since TICAD-I, the meeting discussed the main elements to be included in the"agenda for action" to be adopted at TICAD-II. It was agreed that social development, private sector development, agriculture and environment, governance and conflict management, peace and development are priority areas already identified by African countries, where targets could be set and strategies defined for implementation in the spirit of ownership and partnership as articulated in the"Tokyo Declaration."In this regard, the meeting took note of the New Development Strategy (NDS) adopted by DAC/OECD in May 1996, which is based on ownership and partnership. It was recommended that such critical issues as debt, physical infrastructure, diversification of African economies and improved market access could be incorporated into the existing priority areas and modalities of cooperation.
- The meeting also discussed modalities of cooperation; namely, capacity-building, regional cooperation, South-South cooperation and donor coordination. It was agreed that the development of the capacity of African countries to solve their own problems and to set and implement national priorities was critical in making development internally self-generating and sustainable. To that end, it will be necessary to simultaneously develop human, institutional and infrastructural capacity. It was also emphasized that intra- and inter-regional cooperation, including triangular arrangements involving African, Asian and donor countries, are important modalities in furthering African development through which development targets can be met. Donor coordination was also identified as a key modality for ensuring the effective use of resources being provided by the international community. In this regard, participants emphasized that donor coordination should, inter alia, put more emphasis on the role and ownership of recipient countries.
III. Social Sector
- The critical importance of high and sustained growth in tackling poverty in Africa was recognized, and the need to strengthen the social sector as a foundation for development was emphasized. The discussion focused on priority areas, including poverty eradication, education, health, gender and population.
- The Conference stressed the need for action by African countries and their development partners to reduce poverty by ensuring critical shifts in resource allocation to generate livelihood opportunities and improve the social conditions of the poor. Involvement of civil society, NGOs and the private sector in poverty eradication programmes was emphasized. Increased access of the poor to productive resources, especially credit, will make a significant contribution to poverty eradication.
- Although considerable progress has been made in education, it was noted that Africa sill has a long way to meet the goal of universal primary education. It was agreed that education be linked to employment opportunities and sustainable livelihood. Special attention was drawn to the need to make basic education available to disadvantaged groups, especially girls and women.
- Recognizing that life expectancy in African countries is the lowest and that maternal and infant mortality rates are the highest in the world, it was agreed that health care delivery needs to be improved. To this end, adequate resource allocation, particularly for primary health care and access to safe water, was called for. Concern was expressed about the widespread prevalence of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases and its economic impact on the most productive sector of the population. Capacity development and decentralization of social services to the community level were recognized as crucial.
- It was emphasized that social development and poverty eradication require mobilization and coordination of domestic and international resources as well as the participation of all sectors and segments of society. It was agreed that the "agenda for action" should include social sector development, clearly defining targets, benchmarks and commitments by all partners.
IV. Private Sector
- The Conference emphasized the crucial role of the private sector in sustaining long-term economic growth. It was noted that the sectors’development has been constrained by its own capacity limitations, and by inadequacies in the policy and institutional framework, and in infrastructure and support services.
- The Conference reached broad consensus on the need for political stability, sound macro-economic policies, further liberalization of trade, pricing and investment rules and regulations, transparency and predictability in the legal and administrative systems, and the strengthening of the financial sector so as to ensure a conducive environment for private sector growth. It was further noted that promoting improved collaboration and partnership between government and the private sector will advance the growth of the sector. Participants also noted that the capacity-building requirements of the private sector have to be addressed if the sector is to develop in an effective and timely manner.
- The Conference agreed that Africa's external partners can facilitate the growth of Africa's private sector by maintaining concessional assistance, implementing debt relief measures, removing trade barriers, assisting in the promotion and diversification of Africa's exports, encouraging foreign direct investment, including in infrastructure, and providing technical and managerial know-how. Direct business to business links should also be promoted. Sharing of experiences through trade fairs and exchange visits, training and the transfer of know-how, networking and intra- and inter-regional investment and joint ventures are other forms of cooperation that can be persued with development partners, or through South-South and triangular cooperation. Participants proposed that the private sector should be closely consulted and associated with the TICAD-II process, and its participation at the TICAD-II Plenary should be ensured.
V. Agriculture and Environment
- The meeting focused on the linkages between agriculture and environment in improving prospects for increased food security and higher levels of development in the region. In recognizing the crucial cross-sectoral links among agriculture, environment and poverty, the participants underscored the importance of tackling the issue of increasing agriculture productivity in its broadest perspective including forestry, livestock, fisheries and water resource management. There was general appreciation for continued support for policy measures that would be more conducive to sector performance.
- Towards this end, the participants reaffirmed that priority attention should be given to recommendations of the World Food Summit and relevant OAU/ECA initiatives. It was suggested, to indentify common priorities for an "agenda for action" to promote more productive and sustainable agriculture, taking into account lessons of successful experiences within the region.
- To foster an enabling environment for rural sector development, a stronger commitment was called for in several areas aimed at improving the productivity of small farmers, with particular attention given to women. These include improving agriculture research and technology adaptation, training, linkage between research and extension, land use and tenure, access to rural finance, rural infrastructure and access to internal and external markets.
- With regard to environment, it was recommended that more attention should be given to drought and desertification, water resource management and renewable sources of energy. Donor countries should provide adequate support in these areas. It was noted that Asia-Africa cooperation would be an important instrument in promoting institutional linkages in the fields of agriculture and environment.
VI. Conflict, Peace and Development, and Governance
- The Conference recognized that internal peace, security and stability are prerequisites for sustainable development, which in turn facilitates their maintenance. It was also acknowledged that good governance, including efficient and effective public and private sector management, plays a critically important role in sustaining both peace and development.
- It was noted that significant progress has been made through intra-regional cooperation in conflict management in Africa, and efforts should be made to project a positive image of the continent to the international community. The Conference pointed out the need to prevent and manage conflicts at an early stage through intensified dialogue and mobilization of community leaders including women's groups and other members of civil society. It called for continued international assistance in resettling refugees and internally displaced persons, demining of affected land and demobilization of soldiers. The participants also proposed international support for reconciliation and reconstruction efforts during the post-conflict peace-building phase.
- The participants acknowledged that good governance encompasses transparency, accountability, respect for basic human rights, rule of law and popular participation in decision making. This requires the commitment and ability of governments to manage public sector efficiently and effectively and to enable the private sector to contribute to employment creation and economic growth. Participants called on the international community to continue supporting African countries to consolidate democracy through strengthening the judiciary, legislature and political parties. In addition, support should be provided to strengthen the national capacity for the management of the government and public sector institutions, civil society organizations and private sector activities.
VII. Towards TICAD-II
- The participants confirmed that the selected themes and modalities referred to above should constitute a framework of the"agenda for action"at TICAD-II.
- To prepare the"agenda for action"for adoption at TICAD-II, the conference agreed to establish a Preparatory Committee, consisting of representatives of African, Asian and donor countries, as well as international and regional organizations and the co-organizers. Cameroon, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the African Development Bank, the European Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa, the Global Coalition for Africa, the Organization of African Unity, the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations (UNOSCAL and UNDP) were selected.
- The Conference agreed that the Preparatory Committee will meet in principle three times in Africa next year. In addition, regional workshops would also be organized in Africa in order to provide inputs to the Preparatory Committee and to promote the participatory approach and ownership in formulating the draft"agenda for action."
- TICAD-II is tentatively scheduled to take place from 19-21 October 1998 in Tokyo.
- As the representative of the current chairman of the OAU, His Excellency Ambassador Buzwani Donald Mothobi of Zimbabwe made a statement reiterating the support of the organization to the TICAD-II process and thanked the Government of Japan for organizing this Preparatory Conference.
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