Inter Media Japan had the unique opportunity to attend TICAD VI in Nairobi, Kenya and experienced first hand the dedication of Japan and Africa to the development of the African continent.
The Sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD VI) was held on August 27th and 28th in Nairobi, Kenya. Over 11,000 people participated, including representatives of 53 African countries and partner countries, over 30 African Presidents, and business leaders from 77 organizations, including several that accompanied Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The conference entailed four main sessions, the Opening Session, Plenary Session 1, the Thematic Sessions, and Plenary Session 2, and over 100 side events, including the Civil Society Side Event and Japan-Africa EXPO.
At the Opening Session, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Abe gave the opening remarks regarding TICAD VI and the outcomes they hope it will achieve. Prime Minister Abe led with a speech declaring Japan’s commitment to investing 30 billion USD into Africa’s infrastructure, healthcare, and education systems over the next 3 years. 10 billion USD in the form of a government grant will be committed to infrastructure projects and 20 billion USD will be through private sector investments.
African leaders and senior officials, with the attendance of Prime Minister Abe, met at the Plenary Session 1 to address the current issues that Africa faces, including the fragile health system, stability and security, and international resource prices. The following Thematic Sessions expanded the Plenary Session 1 discussion topics with the means of promoting the priority areas of TICAD VI, which entailed economic diversification, resilient health systems, and social stability.
The Plenary Session 2 was focused on encouraging Japanese private sector companies to establish businesses in Africa. Prime Minister Abe announced the establishment of the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum with the addition of investment and tax agreements to support Japanese businesses that wish to set up business in Africa.
Aside from the main talks between African and Japanese leaders, TICAD VI hosted a variety of side events. The Japan-Africa EXPO was a side event meant to showcase Japanese and African businesses that are willing to be partners in the development of Africa. Additionally, a 3-day Civil Society side event was hosted to discuss global cooperation projects, Sustainable Development Goals, and strategic partnerships with focus on health, youth, and agricultural issues.
The overall outcome of TICAD VI was viewed as a positive outcome that resulted in the TICAD VI Nairobi Implementation Plan, a concrete plan of action for the next 3 years of African development and Japan-Africa relations.