JICA Ogata Research Institute

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African Leaders Discuss Prospects and Challenges for African Development

July 8, 2013

On June 21-22, the Africa Emerging Markets Forum was convened in Abidjan, capital of Côte d’Ivoire, which the government of Côte d’Ivoire and the Centennial Group, an American firm conducting research on African development, co-sponsored. The Forum aimed to share effective approaches and exchange proactive opinions on African development with African leaders. The event assembled more than 100 participants including: former heads of states and ministers; heads of governments; ambassadors to Côte d’Ivoire; aid officials; and researchers. From JICA, Senior Special Advisor Kunio Okamura and Research Officer Ippei Tsuruga attended.


In his keynote speech, Dr. Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d’Ivoire, stressed that it was essential for Africa to promote investment and trade, facilitate economic structural transformation, develop high value-added industries, and create jobs for maintaining high growth in Africa.


The thematic sessions followed the keynote speech. In the first session chaired by Michel Camdessus, Former Managing Director of IMF and the President, Dr. Theodore Ahlers of the Centennial Group kicked off the discussion by stating, “The African economy could potentially reach USD 17,000 per capita by 2050.”  Considering possible approaches to achieve such a challenging objective, participants addressed their opinions from different perspectives in each session: demography, inclusion, equity, growth, job creation, and governance*.  Through the consecutive discussions, it was commonly underlined that the African governments should promote inclusive growth patterns through nurturing industries and creating jobs; and collaboration with the private sector while improving market environments.


JICA Senior Special Advisor Kunio Okamura joined as a panel in the session of “Demography, Inclusion and Equity.” In light of the relevance to TICAD V, he argued that creation of jobs, development of human resources, and provision of a safety net could be crucial challenges for Africa to achieve the long-term vision.


In relation to JICA-RI, the institute contributed the report entitled “Development Challenges in Africa Towards 2050”, a joint work with the Centennial Group, to the forum as a background paper; and also held a TICAD V Official Side Event to offer a venue for discussion on African development towards 2050.


* Each seminar was led by Dr. Albert Toikeusse Mabri, Minister of Planning and Development of Côte d’Ivoire, Dr. Horst Koehler, former President of Germany, and Dr. Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of Tanzania.


DayJune 21, 2013(Fri) - June 22, 2013(Sat)
PlaceAbidjan, Cote D'Ivoire

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