The Africa Report - - QUARTER -

With the China-us com­pe­ti­tion grab­bing at­ten­tion, Ja­pan’s diplo­mats are seek­ing to raise their game to im­prove diplo­matic ties and eco­nomic links with Africa. Those will be the sub­jects of the sev­enth Tokyo In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on African Devel­op­ment on 28-30 Au­gust. Tokyo lags far be­hind China in terms of how joined-up the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors are in their African en­gage­ment. Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s gov­ern­ment plans to ad­dress this at the sum­mit by launch­ing a new con­sul­ta­tive body to help the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor work to­gether to ex­tend their in­flu­ence in African coun­tries. African lead­ers want to talk about Tokyo’s 2016 prom­ise to de­liver $30bn in pub­lic and pri­vate aid and in­vest­ment deals over a three-year pe­riod. There have not been any block­buster deals worth bil­lions that would get close to that num­ber. For ex­am­ple, Tokyo is­sued a $94m loan in 2018 for Kenya to re­fur­bish a geo­ther­mal plant.

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