Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad 7) |29 August 2019
President Faure attends official opening ceremony
President Danny Faure is leading the Seychelles delegation at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development being held in Yokohama, Japan from August 28-30, 2019.
The Seychelles delegation yesterday morning attended the official opening ceremony of the conference at the Yokohama Conference Centre Pacifico which formally launched discussions for this year’s conference centred around the banner theme ‘Advancing Africa’s Development through People, Technology and Innovation’.
Attended by more than 4,000 delegates including heads of state and government, as well as representatives of international and regional organisations, civil societies, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector, the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad 7) provides a platform of discussion for important issues related to Africa’s development, and process that allows all Ticad member states and partners to come together for the further development of the continent.
Following the opening ceremony on the first day of the conference, the Seychelles delegation also attended the first and second plenary sessions guided by the conference theme, the future of Ticad and African development as well as accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement respectively.
The government of Japan has since 1993 been leading the Ticad conference co-hosted by United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and African Union Commission (AUC).
Apart from President Faure, the other African leaders in Japan include: Faustin Archange Touadera (Central African Republic), Azali Assoumani (Comoros), Alpha Condé (Guinea), Patrice Talon (Benin), Julius Maada Bio (Sierra Leone), Andry Rajoelina (Madagascar), Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Joao Lourenco (Angola), Hage Geingob (Namibia), George Weah (Liberia), Felix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Abdul Fatten Al-Sisi (Egypt and current African Union president), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo (Somalia), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Faure Gnassingbe (Togo), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria), Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), Ibrahim Boubakar Keita (Mali), Edgar Lungu (Zambia) and Macky Sall (Senegal).
In his keynote address, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that over the past three years, Japanese private investment into Africa reached 20 billion US dollars.
He added that from companies founded more than a century ago to start-ups, the investors vary to a great degree, and yet they all seek value in Africa.
“Let me introduce something brand new to you. That's ‘New Ticad,’ born in Nairobi and growing by leaps and bounds. Our New Ticad is a magnificent ‘double E, double I’ springboard.
“It is a partnership that lifts to greater heights the double E’s of ‘entrepreneurship’ and ‘enterprise’, along with the double I’s of ‘investment’ and ‘innovation’.
“I make this pledge to you. The government of Japan will put forth every possible effort so that the power of Japanese private investment of 20 billion dollars in three years should, in the years to come, be surpassed anew from one day to the next,” said Prime Minister Abe.
He also talked about some of the new narrative, brought into being through the collaboration of Japan and Africa through Ticad.
These include a workshop in Uganda owned by a Japanese woman who employs single mothers and people who were soldiers in their childhood and they produce bags that have a richness of colour that is exceptionally eye-catching for Japanese female consumers; a small-sized satellite built by Rwanda together with the University of Tokyo will emerge soon and from space, the satellite will observe crop harvests and the state of water resources in Rwanda; Angola and Brazil are connected through an undersea cable of enormous capacity since October 1, 2018 and this was the first ever cable spanning 6,165km linking Africa straight with South America.
Prime Minister Abe added that the Japanese government – New Ticad – will do its utmost to support Japanese enterprises that are betting on the future of Africa.
He also noted that “we are in an era in which the challenges Africa faces will be resolved through S, T, and I – science, technology, and innovation.”
Addressing the leaders United Nations secretary general António Guterres said that since its launch 26 years ago, Ticad has evolved into an open, inclusive and multilateral forum for mobilising and sustaining international support for Africa’s peace, security and sustainable development.
“I see Africa as a dynamic continent of opportunity where winds of hope are blowing ever stronger. Ticad has played a critical role in focusing international dialogue on Africa, built on the twin principles of African ownership and international partnership. Its partnerships have made important contributions to Africa’s economic transformation through entrepreneurship and trade. They have supported increased access to health services, education, water and sanitation, and helped promote peace and stability,” said Mr Guterres.