African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki called for more Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects between their governments and Japanese entities.
In a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), African states advanced that the PPP model of development was the most ideal approach of achieving sustainable development on the continent.
Mr Faki assured that through PPP’s, African enterprises with the support of Japanese investments will be able to fully exploit the resource potential of the continent for the benefit of all Africans.
He said this aspiration was demonstrated by the strong private sector representation and participation in the TICAD 6 conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2016.
“It is urgent to promote these strategies and Africa to take advantage of the situation and to take into account the SMEs and the SMIs of Africa and to make sure that we give great attention in order to improve the business climate within its member states,” Mr Faki said.
TICAD 7, which kicked off today in the Japanese port city of Yokohama south of Tokyo, is being attended by over 30 African Heads of State and Governments among them President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
Speaking on behalf of the World Bank Group, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Finance Corporation, Philippe Le Houérou reiterated Africa’s position saying the future of African economies will largely be shaped by the performance of the continent’s private sector.
“We need the private sector to seize more of the brighter opportunity than the possible risk to do business in Africa. Together, the public and the private sector can literally ignite the continent’s economy,” Mr Le Houérou said.
On his part, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged TICAD member states to tap more into the growing youth population in Africa by enhancing development through innovative solutions.
The UN Secretary General said technology and innovation are central to unleashing Africa’s vast potential and realizing the UN’s shared vision of leaving no one behind.
During his opening remarks, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a new initiative by the Japanese Government that seeks to strengthen judicial and law enforcement systems of African nations.
The programme dubbed New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA) has already admitted 6,076 police officers, public prosecutors and judges from 39 African into a capacity building initiative where they will be trained on criminal justice and crime prevention.
“NAPSA will assist in making judicial, governmental administration and legislative systems stable and secure so that nation building doesn’t move backward,” PM Abe said.
Prime Minister Abe further announced a pledge by his government to support the roll out of Universal Health Care programmes in Africa saying the initiative will benefit over three million recipients on the continent.
Through TICAD, PM Abe said Japan had invested over 20 billion dollars in Africa in the past 3 years.
President Kenyatta is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Ukur Yatani (National Treasury), Sicily Kariuki (Health), Prof George Magoha (Education) and James Macharia (Transport).