Speech at the Ticad III Summit, 29 September 2003

Honourable Chairperson,
Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

As we gather here to celebrate 10 years of support for Africa under the TICAD process, it is important that we look back and recognize the achievements under TICAD, as well as chart the way forward to ensure that the partnership grows from strength to strength.

We would like to record our appreciation to Japan for having initiated the TICAD process in 1993 and for championing the cause of African development.

As already indicated by previous speakers, the TICAD priorities coincide with those of NEPAD. We are very happy that the other critical players in the TICAD process have a productive relationship with NEPAD. We have a good relationship with the UNDP under the Cluster System that is co-ordinated by the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Similarly, the World Bank is a strategic partner of NEPAD in relation to infrastructure development. The Office of the Special Advisor for Africa and the Global Coalition for Africa play an important advocacy and overall co-ordination roles.

When H.E. the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Junichiro Koizumi spoke here in Tokyo on May 14 this year, during the visit of President Wade, among other things, he said:

"Now that NEPAD is in place, Japan's basic policy on cooperation with Africa will be to support NEPAD through the TICAD process, and to expand partnership for that purpose. We will maintain solidarity between NEPAD and G8, and cooperation with international organisations at the centre of our partnership."

I would like to thank Prime Minister Koizumi and the Japanese government for this commitment, which he confirmed in the statement he made earlier today.

Recognising the synergies between NEPAD and TICAD priorities, today we focus on the critical matters of implementation and specifically the important contribution that Japan can make to realise the objectives of our New Partnership. We need to select priority issues and identify concrete actions so as to deliver early successes in the following areas:

Agriculture. In this regard, we have developed a Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme. As a start, together with Japan we should give priority to the further expansion of the successful New Rice for Africa Initiative (NERICA) to ot parts of the continent in urgent need.

Health. There is an urgent need to scale-up the programmes on Malaria, TB and AIDS. Recognising the contribution that has been made by Japan, we urge that we continue to work together in mobilising additional resources.

Education. We have established the e-Africa Commission to drive the ICT initiative, which includes an e-schools project and the rollout of the African Virtual University. Given the major advances made by Japan in all these areas, we call on Japan to iease the necessary support.
Infrastructure. We note with appreciation the substantial contribution of Japan to infrastructure development as reflected in the report of implementation of the G8 Africa Action Plan. We need to work together to speed-up the mechanisms of implementat.

Capacity Building. In this regard, increased technical assistance is needed for project preparation at the national and sub-regional levels. Human, financial and institutional capacity building is essential in ensuring that these programmes are indeedplemented. Harnessing and disseminating appropriate technologies can also play an important role in supporting the implementation of many of the programmes, in improving production and rural development, and in supporting the establishment of Centres of Excellence on the continent.

The expertise and resources of Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Human Security Fund, for example, should be brought to bear in assisting the drive to provide a better quality of life to people on the ground and to ensure that we ld a peaceful, stable and prosperous continent. We should also explore the use of grant funding and soft loan finance for NEPAD projects.

We need to collaborate on issues of trade and investment. In this regard, we should start a Japan-Africa dialogue pertaining to ways in which Japan can support issues of trade and investment in Africa, notably market access, especially in the agricultl sector.

A concerted effort must be made further to inform the Japanese private sector of the new opportunities in Africa. The forthcoming World Expo in Japan in 2005 provides an ideal opportunity to showcase Africa to international investors.

An important outcome of this Summit has to be the setting up of a mechanism for the ongoing operationalisation and implementation of Japan's support for NEPAD, including the review and monitoring thereof. In addition, all of us will have to make propereparations for the important November meeting in Paris which will bring together the NEPAD Steering Committee, the G8 Personal Representatives, the TICAD partners, and the rest of our development partners.

In conclusion, I must reiterate that we greatly value the partnership with Africa that has been created through TICAD. There is much that Japan, the TICAD partners and Africa can do together, to work for the realisation of the common vision for the renewal of our continent.

The continued commitment to support the process of transformation that we have embarked on in Africa by way of strong advocacy and the scaling up and acceleration of support for this process through TICAD, will go a long way in meeting our objectives and setting an example for others to follow.

I thank you.

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