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Statement by H.E. Mr. Koro Bessho
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

Africa Week 2016 High-Level Inaugural Event
High-Level Substantive Segment

10 October 2016



Thank you, President.

Excellencies, Distinguished Speakers, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen,


          At the outset, I would like to thank Mr. Maged ABDELAZIZ, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, and Ms. Cristina GALLACH, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Public Information for co-chairing this important opening event of African week.


          I welcome the fact that the agenda for this session is “Strengthening Partnerships”, since it is exactly what Japan and the African people have been doing and seeks to do in its relation with Africa. I will align my remarks to the agenda, and focus on TICAD, a process which has realized a strong partnership between the international community and Africa and which the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD have already mentioned.


          The TICAD process began in 1993, just after the end of the cold war, and has served as a pioneering multilateral forum, based on twin principles of African ownership and international partnership, for international cooperation on African development. TICAD is also a unique process that has progressed with Africa's development and regional integration agendas. The latest summit, TICAD VI, held in Kenya last August marked a new beginning as the first TICAD summit held in Africa.


          In terms of partnership, the TICAD process is promoted by several co-organizers; not only by the Government of Japan, but jointly with the United Nations, UNDP, the World Bank and the African Union Commission (AUC). It also engages with multiple actors, including governments, international and regional organizations, the private sector and CSOs, with each bringing its own comparative advantages. It is indeed promoted as an inclusive and transparent process. In this regard, we also invite other development partners from around the world.


          At TICAD VI, we adopted the “Nairobi Declaration” after intensive discussions which considered the changing situation of Africa and the world since TICAD V in 2013, including the decline of global commodity prices, the vulnerability of health systems and social instability. TICAD VI also provided an important opportunity to express solid support to AU Agenda 2063 through international partnership.


          The private sector plays extremely significant role in ensuring that Japan and Africa achieve economic growth together. Among the outcomes of TICAD VI, the emphasis on partnerships involving private companies should be considered a key factor.


          Some 80 corporate leaders from Japan participated in TICAD VI and numerous Japanese companies and universities took advantage of the opportunity to visit Africa and conclude 73 MOUs with African partners.


          Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced at TICAD VI that Japan will invest in the future of Africa. There he announced the investment is amounting to approximately USD 30 billion under public-private partnership to achieve further economic development with African ownership. Prime Minister Abe also emphasized that Japan would launch the “Japan-Africa Public and Private Economic Forum” in order to further promote cooperation between Japan and African countries, leading to further investment in Africa by Japanese companies.


          I hope the strengthening of these partnerships at both the inter-governmental and private sector levels will contribute to inclusive and sustainable development in Africa, as well as to good governance and the establishment of peace and stability. Japan is determined to continuously contribute to the development of Africa in concert with the efforts of the African people, while respecting African ownership.


          I thank you.                      



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