In the early 1990' s, Africa was " marginalized " and 'aid fatigue' set in after the Cold War. To refocus international attention on the importance and urgency of African development issues, Japan took the leading role in the international community by organizing the first TICAD in 1993.
1. Pioneer forum:
When the Cold War ended, developed countries' interest in providing assistance to Africa began to wane. Under such circumstance, it was Japan that argued for the importance of Africa, and TICAD was the proof of Japan taking action. Nowadays, there are various fora through which many countries engage themselves with Africa, but TICAD launched by Japan was the forerunner of such fora for African development. Over the course of more than 20 years since TICAD I in 1993, the forum has a track record of improving social and economic conditions in Africa mainly through grant aids and technical assistance. In the five years starting fiscal year 2008, the government of Japan built 1,321 elementary and middle schools, improved 4,778 healthcare and medical facilities, and provided safe water to additional 10.79 million people.
2. Open forum:
TICAD is a multilateral forum whose participants include not only African countries but also international organizations, partner countries, private companies and civil society organizations involved in development. The participants have been engaged in fruitful discussions on African development, bringing together a broad range of global knowhow and efforts of the international community. TICAD provides an open forum that generates innovative discussion, among various stakeholders, on African development.
3. Ownership and partnership:
TICAD has advocated the importance of African ownership and international partnership. Today, the development philosophy based on these two principles is shared globally. It has also inspired African countries, and it became the philosophical foundation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the first comprehensive development plan created by Africans themselves.
4. Steady fulfilment of promises:
In the TICAD process, Japan has established follow-up mechanisms. For example, pledges are announced at the summit-level meetings, and the status of their implementations is confirmed at the ministerial meetings. African countries have highly acclaimed the steady assistance extended by Japan, a country that keeps its promises.