January 20, 2015
Malagasy President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, right, and JICA President Akihiko Tanaka
From Jan. 11 to 14, JICA President Akihiko Tanaka visited Madagascar, held talks with dignitaries including President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, and visited the sites of JICA projects.
Tanaka held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Arisoa Lala Razafitrimo on Jan. 13 and Rajaonarimampianina on Jan. 14. Rajaonarimampianina expressed appreciation for JICA's cooperation in the areas of agriculture and infrastructure and emphasized the importance of further strengthening the relationship between Japan and Madagascar. Tanaka talked about JICA's future cooperation policy toward Madagascar, restarting the activities of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and the direction of cooperation to Madagascar.
Also, on Jan. 14, JICA and the Center of Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (CEDS) co-sponsored a lecture by Tanaka entitled “Cooperation of Two Island Countries in the Age of the Indo-Pacific”. As part of his lecture, Tanaka gave examples of successes and failures as Japan has advanced its development since the Meiji era, and explained that many of JICA's projects have been created based on the experiences of Japan. In particular, he emphasized the importance of ownership in social and economic development, capacity development and infrastructure improvement.
He also explained that JICA is extending cooperation based on three pillars — 1. agricultural and rural development, 2. infrastructure improvement and 3. social development — in keeping with the development issues facing Madagascar. Hearing this, many participants had positive things to say about JICA's initiatives.
JICA President Akihiko Tanaka visits the site of the Project of Integrated Approach Development in Order to Promote Environment Restoration and Rural Development in Morarano Chrome.
On Jan. 12, in the Alaotra-Mangoro region, Tanaka visited the sites of the ongoing technical cooperation projects, Project of Integrated Approach Development in order to Promote Environment Restoration and Rural Development in Morarano Chrome (PRODAIRE) and Project for Rice Productivity Improvement in Central Highland (PAPRIZ). He exchanged views with stakeholders while gazing upon the expansive, verdant rice paddies, saw for himself once again that Madagascar is the leading rice producing country in Africa and reconfirmed the importance of support in the areas of agriculture and rural development, which are focusing areas of JICA's cooperation.
Next Tanaka visited Toamasina in the Atsinanana region and the port of Toamasina, the country's largest commercial port. He checked on the progress of the ongoing technical assistance project, Assistance for Implementation of Toamasina Port Development Project and held a discussion with representatives of Toamasina Autonomous Port (SPAT).