Speech at the ODA Loan Agreement Signing Ceremony for Power Sector Reform Support Program (Angola)
JICA Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan
His Excellency Mr. Armand Manuel, Minister of Finance, Republic of Angola
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great honor and pleasure today to sign the Loan Agreement for ‘the Power Sector Reform Support Program,' in the amount of up to 23.64 billion Japanese Yen, equivalent to US $200 million.
This agreement is a milestone in that it marks the very first ODA loan to Angola, and I am delighted that we are opening this new era of cooperation between Angola and Japan.
Indeed, I see Angola as one of the most important partner countries in the continent. You have overcome the enormous difficulties experienced both during and in the immediate aftermath of the civil war that ended in 2002. And your country has achieved remarkable economic growth, with Angola now ranking the third largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Endowed with many resources, particularly mineral resources, the country is attracting the attention of many investors, including Japan. Even so, I believe that there is still a lot of untapped potential for cooperation, so I am glad that we are now taking steps to strengthen our collaborative relations.
I am also happy because with this loan program, we have the opportunity to address key issues in the power sector, one of the most important sectors for Angola's stable development. The significant economic growth the country is experiencing has generated increased energy demand that the current supply cannot yet meet. We hope that the "Power Sector Reform Support Program" will help bridge that gap.
Co-financed with the African Development Bank, the program aims to:
We believe that this program will help promote private sector activities, notably by attracting foreign direct investments. We hope it will also accelerate Angola's inclusive and dynamic development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As I said, we are starting a new phase of cooperation between the two countries. This program is just the beginning. We have a lot of work to do together to address Angola's development challenges and to strengthen our collaborative relationship. In line with the Japanese government's policy, JICA is committed to supporting the Angolan government and the people of Angola as you continue to pursue sustained and inclusive growth.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Your Excellency's support for JICA's activities in Angola. I reiterate my determination for furthering our cooperation in the near future.
Thank you very much.