June 13, 2014
After the signing, Hideaki Domichi (left), JICA senior vice-president, and Ibrahim Mayaki, NEPAD Agency CEO, shake hands.
On June 11, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a cooperation framework with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency.1 The signing took place at JICA’s headquarters in Tokyo and was performed by Hideaki Domichi, JICA senior vice-president, and Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Agency CEO.
This MOU establishes a framework for discussions on partnership cooperation between JICA and NEPAD Agency in fields of common interest such as infrastructure and agriculture in order to deepen cooperation on challenges facing the African continent. NEPAD Agency is a development implementation agency for the African Union (AU), which is one of co-organizers of TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development), and the objectives of NEPAD Agency include eliminating poverty in Africa, attaining sustainable growth and development, and uniting Africa with the world economy.
Through TICAD and the G8 process, one of the contributions to the establishment of NEPAD by the Government of Japan was that Japan, as the G8 chair, invited the heads of Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa to the G8 Kyushu Okinawa Summit in 2000, where African leaders shared the initial idea of NEPAD, creating momentum that led to its formal launch in 2001. Given this background, JICA will strengthen its cooperation with NEPAD Agency through this MOU so that Japan’s commitment announced at TICAD V will be effectively implemented with a full alignment with the African development agenda.
Including activities such as dispatching experts, JICA has been providing support for NEPAD projects. With the conclusion of this MOU, it is expected that a comprehensive partnership framework for collaboration will be established, especially in the fields of infrastructure and agriculture, and capacity building of NEPAD Agency.
As the first step in this partnership, key NEPAD personnel involved in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)2 and key personnel of Regional Economic Communities (RECs)3 will be invited to Japan in September 2014. Since CAADP promotes private sector investments in the agricultural sector, the visit will include a tour of the current state of agriculture in Japan, interactions with Japanese private sectors interested in investing agriculture in Africa, and a deepening of the understanding of policies and projects supported by Japan.
1. NEPAD Agency is an initiative for African development by Africa itself adopted at the African Union (AU) Summit in July 2001. Initially named New Africa Initiative (NAI), it was renamed in October 2001 as NEPAD, and subsequently at the Assembly of the African Union in January 2010, the name was updated again to NEPAD Agency and became the implementation agency for the AU.
2. Falling under the agricultural development framework in Africa adopted by the AU in 2003, the CAADP is a NEPAD Agency program. Setting the objectives of food safety and security, and improving nutrition and agricultural income, the CAADP is aiming for at least 6 percent in agricultural productivity improvements per year and at least 10 percent of national budgets allocated to the agricultural sector to meet those goals. All of the donors involved in agricultural assistance in Africa are being requested to provide support along the CAADP program.
Reference webpage: http://www.nepad-caadp.net/about-caadp.php
3. RECs are organizations created to unify economic regions in Africa. The AU has recognized eight RECs: the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).