March 1, 2013
Tanaka (left) and Boni hold a discussion.
On February 28, JICA President Akihiko Tanaka and Dr. Yayi Boni, President of the Republic of Benin, held talks.
President Boni expressed his gratitude for the many years of cooperation Japan has provided to Benin. He noted, in particular, that the activities of the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) were a good match for the needs of the people of Benin, and asked that more volunteers should be dispatched. Tanaka, in response, said that Benin is a model country in democratization not only for the West Africa but also for other countries around the world. He also noted that the role of Benin in this regard is very important in the international community and mentioned his hope to further strengthen the cooperation between Japan and Benin. Boni agreed to this.
With regard to the coming TICAD V to be held in Yokohama this June, Boni stated that TICAD is an essential initiative for the international community to foster invaluable dialogues among Japan, African countries, and international organizations. Tanaka then called on him to attend TICAD V in person.
Boni (center) is surrounded by former JOCVs and JICA staff involved in Benin.
After the talks, Boni greeted eight former JOCVs and JICA staff involved with Benin, and exchanged a few words in French and Fon, one of the local languages. Boni then showed his appreciation for their volunteer work and hoped that they will be back to his country.