October 15, 2010
JICA President Discusses Development Issues on Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan
JICA President Mrs. Sadako Ogata has held talks in Washington on global development issues including the situations in Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and closer cooperation with emerging donor nations.
Mrs. Ogata visited the United States earlier this month to attend the annual meeting of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund and took the opportunity to meeting other major development officials.
In talks with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah Mrs. Ogata explained JICA’s increasing support for African nations, particularly through the ongoing TICAD process which is supported by Japan, to assist in that continent’s economic and social development.
The USAID Administrator expressed particular interest in the so-called one-stop-border concept which was developed by JICA to help streamline the often cumbersome and costly customs and immigration procedures between neighboring African countries.
Mrs. Ogata discussed the situations in South Sudan and Somalia with Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. She reviewed JICA’s assistance in South Sudan including construction of access roads, rehabilitating the Nile River port at Juba and vocational training and said the government there needed further strengthening to help solve the region’s problems.
She noted that JICA had helped train customs staffs for Somalia.
Mrs. Ogata and World Bank President Robert Zoellick discussed the need for ongoing aid to Pakistan, particularly in the wake of the worst flooding in the country’s history recently, and for assistance to Afghanistan while at the same time trying to maintain security.
Pakistan Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told Mrs. Ogata his country needed help in three major areas: food assistance until farmers could plant the next harvest; widespread reconstruction and mid and long term development, particularly for electrical power.
On Africa, Mrs. Ogata and World Bank President Zoellick agreed that their respective experiences in helping promote economic growth in Southeast Asia and China could have lessons for Africa where job creation was a major priority.
They emphasized that going forward it would be important to work closely with China and other emerging donor countries to support African development. Mrs. Ogata and President Zoellick agreed to cooperate in future research and expand and promote closer cooperation between the two organizations.