TICAD Tenth Anniversary Declaration
We, the participants of the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) held in Tokyo from 29 September to 1 October 2003, having reviewed the achievements of the ten-year TICAD process and discussed the future direction it should take in light of the latest developments on the African continent and in the international arena, declare as follows:
I. New Challenges for African Development
We recall that the TICAD process was launched in 1993, a time when international interest in Africa was waning as a result of the end of the Cold War. During the following decade, the TICAD process has consistently promoted African development from the standpoint of African countries and peoples by assisting Africa to enhance its ownership of its development programs and reviving international partnership in support of such programs. These basic principles of the TICAD process, now widely shared not only by African countries but also by the international community as a whole, have made a significant contribution to encouraging international commitment to African development within international frameworks such as the United Nations and the G8 process.
In the 1980s and 1990s, African leaders had already expressed the political desire to demonstrate Africa's ownership of its development process through the Lagos Plan of Action, and later agreeing to the establishment of the African Economic Community. At the dawn of the new century, the framework for realization has been established through the transformation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU) and the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as a programme of the AU. The international community welcomed this commitment by Africa and offered to provide its solid support for achieving sustainable development through various initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the LDC's Plan of Action, the Monterrey Consensus, the G8 Africa Action Plan, and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). This momentum in both Africa and the international arena thus evolved into an interactive process of ownership by Africa and partnership by the international community. Recognizing this positive international trend that can create a critical turning point in Africa's development process, the TICAD process, together with NEPAD, is now to embark on a new challenge to realize the African Vision that "Africa will claim the twenty-first century" by fully employing its abundant natural and human resources for self-sufficient and sustainable development and enjoying the benefits of trade, industry, and investment through integrating Africa into the global economy.
We, the participants of TICAD III, hereby reaffirm TICAD's basic philosophy and renew our political commitment to the goal of African development on this commemorative occasion of the tenth anniversary of TICAD. We believe that this "TICAD Tenth Anniversary Declaration" constitutes another important step for major progress toward African development in the twenty-first century.
II. Achievements of the TICAD Process
We acknowledge that TICAD is not simply a series of conferences but an evolving process. The TICAD conferences have brought a general consensus on development philosophy and priorities for African development through the "Tokyo Declaration" and the "Tokyo Agenda for Action," adopted at TICAD I (1993) and TICAD II (1998), respectively. The TICAD process has also been playing a catalytic role in translating its philosophy and priorities into tangible projects in areas such as human resources development and socio-economic infrastructure. The ceaseless efforts under the TICAD process over the past ten years, thus, have steadily contributed to African development by presenting unique views on African development and new grounds for partnership. Its key achievements include the following:
1. Raising Awareness of the Challenges Facing Africa
It is noteworthy to recall that each TICAD conference has contributed toward maintaining the focus of the international community on African development during periods when global attention to Africa was about to be diverted to other regions. TICAD I was convened in 1993 after the end of the Cold War; TICAD II in 1998 coincided with the Asian financial crisis; and the TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting in 2001 was held immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. At those critical moments, The TICAD process, together with other regional and international initiatives, continually highlighted African development and provided the advocacy momentum to mainstream African issues on the international agenda in a series of international forums, including the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, G8 Summits, the WSSD, and the Third World Water Forum. This momentum successfully led to the concerted cooperation of the international community through the United Nations and the G8 process and complemented Africa's own efforts as manifested by NEPAD and the AU. The TICAD process thus significantly contributed to raising awareness of the challenges facing Africa and its tenth anniversary comes at a time when the circumstances for African development are more favorable than ever, both within Africa and externally. However, we have noted with regret that there was little or no progress in advancing the Doha Development Agenda at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun. The creation of an equitable international trade system remains as a major challenge to African development.
2. "Ownership" and "Partnership"
The TICAD process has constantly advocated that "ownership" by African countries of their development processes and "partnership" by the international community in support of such ownership are essential for African development. These concepts have found wide acceptance among the international community including African countries. NEPAD, in particular, shares with TICAD its emphasis on African ownership and its focus on priority areas such as peace and governance, human resources development, infrastructure, agriculture, and private sector development. The TICAD process thus welcomes the establishment of NEPAD, while NEPAD recognizes the TICAD process as a pivotal initiative in addressing the challenges of African development. It is therefore a natural consequence that the TICAD process and NEPAD support and complement each other.
3. Expansion of Development Partnership
The TICAD process is a unique international framework that has the active participation of diversified development actors, including African countries, African regional organizations, Asian countries, partner countries and international organizations, as well as the private sector and civil society organizations such as NGOs. This broad coalition expands development partnership, enriches ideas, and augments resources for African development. In particular, it is of great significance that the TICAD process has underscored the importance of South-South cooperation, especially Asia-Africa cooperation that utilizes the successful economic development experiences of Asian countries. The enormous potential of Asia-Africa cooperation is illustrated by such examples as the development of NERICA (New Rice for Africa: a new rice variety developed by crossing Asian and African species) and private sector cooperation to facilitate economic linkages between the two regions, especially in trade and investment. As a result, the TICAD process, by suggesting additional ways to meet the challenges faced by Africa, has provided diversity and dynamism to the development process of the African continent. It is therefore of particular importance that Asian countries are more actively involved in supporting the implementation of NEPAD through the TICAD process.
III. A Compass for the Future of the TICAD Process
We, the participants of TICAD III, note with satisfaction that the TICAD process has facilitated the synchronization of Africa's efforts and the commitment of its development partners, in other words, African ownership and international partnership, and synthesized the resources of both sides for a common purpose. Thus, the TICAD process has contributed to enhancing ownership and partnership to develop genuine solidarity that leads to expanded and multi-layered cooperation in support of African development. Now Africa has provided a powerful vehicle - NEPAD to accelerate African development. The TICAD process provides the philosophies of ownership and partnership as wheels of the vehicle, the solidarity between Africa and its development partners as the engine and the globally combined resources as fuel. Furthermore, through TICAD high-level policy forums, Africa and its development partners seek the underlying philosophy and guiding principles of cooperation for African development, which can serve as a compass for African development. Reaffirming international commitments to existing guidelines including the "Tokyo Declaration" of 1993 and the "Tokyo Agenda for Action" of 1998, we, the participants of TICAD III, reconfirm that African development should continue to emphasize the following viewpoints:
1. Leadership and People's Participation in the African Development Process
To realize development based on ownership, it is imperative that the political leaders of African countries exercise committed and progressive leadership. It is also indispensable that the peoples of Africa, the primary beneficiaries of development, share the spirit of NEPAD and actively participate in the development process. Achieving a well-balanced and sustainable development of Africa that genuinely and directly benefits African people is too formidable a challenge to be addressed through a single approach. This challenge can best be met by adopting a mutually reinforcing combination of two approaches: state-led development based on leadership and democratic governance, on the one hand, and community-based development based on the empowerment of individuals, on the other. It is essential that political leaders and their people share common values and work together to achieve their development goals. This national commitment upheld by strong leadership and grass-roots participation will ensure successful and sustainable development.
2. Peace and Good Governance
We note with appreciation the improved peace and security in some parts of Africa resulting from efforts by Africans themselves supported by the international community. However, it still remains critically important that African countries should consolidate such peace and put an end to remaining conflicts on the continent in order that States can devote all their capacity and resources to economic growth and sustainable development. Conflict is a serious obstacle to African development not only because it exhausts the States involved and wastes the resources of nations and peoples, but also because conflict leaves long-term consequences such as refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), landmines, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons that often exacerbates conflicts. It is encouraging that some African regional organizations and countries are playing key roles in the prevention and management of conflicts, but the consolidation of peace process including disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of ex-combatants (DDR), the repatriation of refugees and IDPs, and demining still requires broad support from the international community, and measures to prevent the illegal proliferation and trafficking in small arms and light weapons. In order to prevent the recurrence of conflicts, it is also essential to address the root causes of conflicts and to promote steadily economic and social reconstruction based on good governance that entails democratization and the adoption of appropriate macro-economic policies. Although African ownership should primarily take the lead in the African development process, international partnership also has an important role to play in extending comprehensive and integrated assistance to African countries and peoples that are hindered from exerting such ownership by conflict.
3. Human Security
Ensuring the security of States is a prerequisite for the development of African countries, but may not automatically lead to better lives of individuals in Africa. It is likewise imperative to protect the peoples of Africa from any threats to their survival, dignity, and livelihood, and moreover to empower all, including women, children and other vulnerable groups, to shape and fully own the process of building communities and nations. Such protection and empowerment are pivotal concepts underlying human security. The Millennium Declaration of the United Nations in 2000 and the report of the Commission on Human Security in 2003 underscored the fact that the peoples of Africa still face serious problems such as poverty, hunger, infectious diseases including the HIV/AIDS epidemic especially, and a lack of education, thus indicating that Africa is the continent where human security is least assured. The TICAD process therefore places great emphasis on the concept of human security with a view to relieving the African people of their present afflictions, providing them with peace and hope for the future, and engaging them in the development process.
4. Respect for Distinctiveness, Diversity, and Identity
In order for Africa to take full ownership of its development process, Africa needs to set its own development goals. Self-confidence and self-esteem, based on due understanding of and respect for the history and cultures of Africa as the cradle of humankind, constitute the main driving force of African-owned development. The international community should not only acknowledge Africa's distinctiveness, diversity, and identity simply from cultural and historical points of view, but also recognize them as indispensable to African development. This approach, consonant with the NEPAD development philosophy, helps Africans to become true pioneers in carving out their own destiny. The international community is encouraged to support this view and incorporate it into development cooperation policies toward Africa.
IV. A New Partnership: Mutual Respect and Trust
We, the participants of TICAD III, recognize that the challenges facing African development are pressing global issues that must be addressed by both Africa and its partners in the twenty-first century. One of the ultimate goals of the TICAD process is to forge solidarity between Africa and the rest of the international community based on ownership and partnership because African development can be achieved only by the concerted efforts of Africa and its development partners. Africa should determine and own, with self-confidence and self-esteem, the direction it will take in pursuit of self-sufficient and sustainable development. The international community, at the same time respecting and trusting Africa's ownership, should deliver timely and substantial assistance to help Africa make the best use of its own resource, through enhancing current initiatives to promote market access and fair trade in order to support the efforts of African countries to gain a meaningful foothold in the global market place. It is also necessary to increase ODA and promote foreign direct investment.
We recall that the African Union has stated that "today's investment in children is tomorrow's peace, stability, security, democracy, and sustainable development," and also that NEPAD declares that it aims to "give hope to the emaciated African child that the 21st century is indeed Africa's century" (NEPAD, paragraph 207). Affirming mutual "respect" and "trust," we, the representatives of Africa and its development partners, are now to take a new step forward to fill the hearts of children in Africa with hope, not despair, and their lives with peace, not instability. This momentous step must be one that is taken not by leaders alone but also by each individual in all African countries and throughout the international community. We firmly believe that such a step, taken with great confidence and shared conviction, will truly take Africa forward to a bright and hopeful future.
We, the participants of the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development, while proudly acknowledging the achievements of the TICAD process, hereby pledge to support Africa's ownership, especially the implementation of NEPAD, by working together to address the new challenges set before us.
1 October 2003, Tokyo
Back to Index