June 4, 2013
JICA had 76 bilateral meetings in total during the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in Yokohama from June 1 to June 3. JICA met with representatives from 44 African countries including 27 of 39 African heads of state, who came to Japan to attend the conference. It discussed with them the current status of Japan's cooperation and a future direction of its support in each country. Furthermore, JICA discussed on the opportunities for collaborative partnership in Africa with 9 African regional institutions and 10 international organizations, both of which are JICA's important partners for its cooperation initiative for Africa. The outline of bilateral meetings held on June 2 and June 3 is as follows.
On the second day of the TICAD V, JICA President AkihikoTanaka had talks with heads of state from five countries; Botswanan President Ian Khama, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, Nigerian Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Ghanan President John Dramani Mahama.
JICA President Tanaka met with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, the country which was newly formed in 2012 after about twenty years of anarchy. The Somali President expressed his gratitude for JICA's cooperation before 1990, when the former regime collapsed, and Japan's continued friendship through its assistance including delivery of relief suppliesduring the time of the conflict. He also showed his expectations for JICA's future involvement in Somalia's nation-building efforts. Both of the presidents shared their views that human resource development, especially vocational training for young people, was an urgent issue in Somalia, where the twenty-year conflict had deprived people of educational opportunities. In response to the decision of launching Japan's bilateral assistance for Somalia, JICA made it clear that it would start discussions to provide support for rehabilitation of infrastructure and capacity development in the country, making full use of its knowhow accumulated in support for post-conflict countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan.
Tanaka expressed his respect for the efforts of Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil in a critical phase for the state, such as further democratization, economic reforms in an aim to improvepeople's livelihood and to establishsocial justice in Egypt,. He also made it clear that JICA would continue to provide support to Egypt in its efforts to rebuild a new nation, based on Japan's experiences. In response to his remarks, Prime Minister Kandil stated that he would like to expect Japan's support for development of infrastructure in the sectors of electricity, agriculture, etc., adding that the "Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST)," the national university characterized by Japanese-style engineering education, was an especially important project for Egypt.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil during his talks with JICA President Tanaka(Left), Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, left and JICA President Tanaka (Center), Ghanan President John Dramani Mahama, right and JICA President Tanaka (Right)
On the final day of the TICAD V, Tanaka had talks with leaders from seven countries; Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Togo's President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, Beninese President Boni Yayi, Abdelkader Bensalah, President of the Council of the Nation of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He also discussed future partnership and other matters with Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, which takes charge of development in the African region.
In the meantime, Tanaka had individual talks with Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, with which JICA has cosponsored TICAD since its inception, and Nkosazana DLAMINI-ZUMA, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, which participated in TICAD V as a new TICAD co-host.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, right and JICA President Tanaka (Left), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right and JICA President Tanaka (Center), Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Nkosazana DLAMINI-ZUMA (Right)
JICA will continue to provide support for inclusive and dynamic development in Africa, while making full use of the achievements gained during TICAD V in discussions with leaders from African countries and development partners from various international organizations, and keeping having dialogues with them.