Abe pledges to invest US$30 billion in Africa
JAPAN will pour US$30 billion in investments into Africa by 2018, including $10 billion in infrastructure development, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a summit in Nairobi over the weekend.
Mr Abe was using the conference to meet dozens of leaders from across Africa, among them Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. It is the first time that the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is being held in Africa, with all five previous events hosted in Japan.
“When combined with the investment from the private sector I expect the total real amount to be $30 billion,” Mr Abe said.
“This is an investment that has faith in Africa’s future,” he said.
The goal of the conference, organised jointly by the UN, the African Union, the World Bank and Japan, is to boost trade and aid to Africa, as Japan hopes that quality will trump quantity in the battle against China for influence on the continent.
While Tokyo already has a wellestablished presence in Africa, its financial importance to the continent has long been eclipsed by regional archrival China.
Resource-hungry China recorded total trade of about $179 billion with Africa in 2015, dwarfing Japan’s approximately $24 billion.
Chad’s Idriss Deby, who currently chairs the African Union, noted that Africa’s economy had been badly affected by falling commodity prices, several conflicts and climate change.
Mr Deby called on Africa’s partners to contribute to help speed up economic growth, poverty reduction and promote better healthcare. –
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) attends the opening of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Nairobi.