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TANAKA Akihiko

March 14, 2013

JICA President Akihiko Tanaka Holds Talks with Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore and Key Personnel
–Announcement of On-going Support for Local People Toward Peace and Stability in the Sahel–

PhotoTakana meets with President Blaise Compaore.

On March 12, JICA President Akihiko Tanaka held talks in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou with key personnel, including President Blaise Compaore, Thomas Pale, Minister Delegated to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, in Charge of Regional Cooperation, and Hadjibou Soumare, President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (known also by its French name Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine or UEMOA).[1]

1. In the talks with Compaore, the two exchanged opinions on the serious circumstances in the Sahel.[2] Tanaka expressed his admiration for the tremendous efforts the president has made toward peace and stability, and appealed to the international community to provide on-going support toward a peaceful resolution. During his visits to project sites, Tanaka witnessed how strongly JICA cooperation has taken root with the people of Burkina Faso. He discussed JICA plans to continue providing cooperation to further deepen the friendship between Japan and Burkina Faso through the dispatch of Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) and other efforts with an emphasis on the fronts of education, agriculture and regional unification.

2. Compaore is the only African president who has attended all four of the TICAD[3] sessions that have been held so far. He gave high praise to Japan for the role it has played in development in Africa, and confirmed his intention to promote cooperation to obtain the maximum mutual benefits possible at the upcoming TICAD V.

3. In the talks with Pale, which took place before the discussion with Compaore, Pale gave high praise to JICA cooperation and presented Tanaka with a national award.

4. In the conference with Hadjibou Soumare, both felt that that regional unification is a critical theme for West Africa, and they reconfirmed the importance of UEMOA as a development partner for JICA.

On March 13, Tanaka visited an elementary school where the JOCV is carrying out cooperation, and then travelled to the next country on his itinerary.

PhotoJICA President Tanaka (left) shakes hands with Minister Thomas Pale after receiving a national award.

PhotoUEMOA President Hadjibou Soumare and Tanaka shake hands.


  • [1] UEMOA is a regional economic community launched in 1994 by eight West African member countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Headquartered in Ouagadougou, UEMOA has under its supervision the Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale (Bank of the Central African States), which issues the regional common currency the CFA franc, and the Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Central Bank of the West African States). Economic unification is moving forward, and initiatives are being taken to build infrastructure that extends beyond national borders.
  • [2] The Sahel is a vast area on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, running horizontally across the continent through Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan. Although once a bountiful, green land, the Sahel has no major rivers, and faces desertification, a serious problem caused by the effects of deforestation and agricultural activities, as well as natural factors such as decreasing rainfall. The drop in agricultural output has resulted in such a chronic lack of food, the Sahel is referred to as the "famine belt." Additionally, the area faces problems with peace and stability due to weapons that have flowed in as a result of the breakdown of Libya.
  • [3] TICAD stands for the Tokyo International Conference on African Development. Since 1993, the Government of Japan has played a leadership role, collaboratively hosting TICAD with the United Nations, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and other organizations. The fifth TICAD conference is scheduled to be held in Yokohama in June 2013.


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