"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Keynote Speech by H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at the TICAD V Ministerial Preparatory Meeting (Plenary 1: "Outcome Documents of TICAD V")

[Place] Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
[Date] March 16, 2013
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Introduction

Prior to this preparatory meeting, Japan has been listening to the voices of African countries through the Senior Officials' Meeting held last autumn and through consultations with the African Union Commission and the African Diplomatic Corps stationed in Tokyo. We have also listened to the voices of private enterprises and civil society within Japan. In the course of these efforts we received meaningful comments and recommendations regarding what we should do to foster further growth in Africa.

Japan is of the view that the outcome documents of TICAD V should accurately reflect the expectations and the requests of the African countries, international organizations, business and industry entities, civil society organizations, and others participating in TICAD. As the TICAD host nation, Japan has taken responsibility for compiling the draft outcome documents. Now, I would like to overview the key points of the draft outcome documents.

2. Key points of the outcome documents

(1) First, a point which African countries share in common is that they call for the promotion of trade and investment while also recognizing the importance of development assistance. At the same time, Japan's private enterprises have great expectations for Africa's future as a market and they are eager to become engaged in Africa. TICAD V should aim at realizing growth led by the private sector by solidly linking these expectations on the African side to the enthusiasm of Japan's private sector.

(2) African countries also shared the recognition that emphasis should be placed on infrastructure development in order to bolster growth. Infrastructure should connect producer's markets and consumer's markets and link countries with other countries while expanding the scale of the economy. If the linkages between markets are developed to a regional scale and then to a continental scale, it will be possible for the benefits of growth to penetrate to all corners of society and all corners of Africa.

Another matter that was pointed out was the important role that vocational education, secondary and higher education, and other types of education to develop skills required for employment play in expanding the opportunities and the potential of youth and women in particular, and in producing new bearers of responsibility for economic activity. Once the accumulation of knowledge in Africa is built up, it will also be possible to bring forth from Africa's own hands the technological innovation that will serve as the trigger for economic activity. Such human resources and knowledge can also be considered infrastructure that bolsters growth.

In order to promote private sector investment, it is necessary to create a business-friendly environment, including the development and prudent implementation of appropriate legal frameworks. There is also strong demand for this arising from Japan's private sector entities. If Africa through its own efforts works to create an environment that is attractive to investors while also enhancing the capacity of its public institutions, that situation, in combination with Africa's high degree of latent potential, will make it possible to concentrate in Africa the attention of investors around the world.

(3) Next, the importance of thoroughly empowering farmers, who comprise the majority of Africa's workforce, has also been pointed out. In order to do this, in addition to the conventional standpoints of food security and nutrition, it is desirable to create new consumer's markets that link to growth through improvements in farmers' standard of living by means of rising income. I believe that if agriculture can become "agriculture that provides income" in addition to "agriculture that enables people to eat," then this change will also lead to poverty reduction and economic development across Africa as a whole.

When undertaking these efforts, approach to increase the added value of agricultural products at each stage of production, storage, and distribution is also effective. Moreover, a point made that it is indispensible to enhance the capacity of women, small-scale farmers and others responsible for agriculture, is truly right on the mark.

(4) At the same time, there are concerns that the adverse effects brought about by climate change in Africa in recent years will be a major challenge in realizing growth. It is a matter of great urgency to achieve sustainable and resilient growth in Africa through adaptation measures, disaster risk reduction, and other such efforts. From this point of view, Japan will contribute to a strategy for climate resilient development and implement concrete measures in the future to this end.

(5) In addition, if the people living in Africa are able to enjoy health, water and sanitation, education, and other such appropriate services at each level of the society, the foundation supporting growth will become rock-solid.

(6) Another foundation for growth is a peaceful and safe society in which people can engage in economic and social activities with peace in mind. Africa itself is the main actor in making Africa a continent of peace, creating nations and governments that can be trusted, and realizing safe societies. It is necessary for us to believe in and foster that capability and walk this road together. We also must not forget efforts to establish structures within the international community that safeguard peace, including the reform of the United Nations Security Council among others.

I would like to offer the following three points as overarching principles that include these strategic approaches.

First, in aiming to improve the further growth of Africa's growth, these must be efforts that promote Africa's own initiatives, including the continental agendas. Next, they should further promote the mainstreaming of women and youth, for the sake of Africa's present as well as its future. And, what is most important of all is the principle of human security, which is to say, the concept under which each person enjoys freedom from fear and from want and realizes his or her abundant potential as an individual.

Japan considers this concept of human security to be suitable as an important philosophy that will anchor the vision towards formulating the post-2015 development agenda. Through the TICAD process, Japan intends to demonstrate leadership together with Africa towards establishing an effective post-2015 development framework, even as it is engaged in achieving the current MDGs as the highest priority task.

On the basis of the approach I have just stated, today, I would like to present to my distinguished ministerial colleagues the drafts of the outcome documents. These outcome documents indicate a strong determination to achieve further growth in Africa as well as the means for achieving it. Let us send a strong message from TICAD to the world through these documents.

3. Japan and assistance to Africa

At TICAD V, Japan will lay out new assistance to Africa to bring about further growth in Africa. In order to achieve this, Japan's public and private sectors are currently working together to put this into concrete form. Japan is giving considerable attention to the agenda for the continent being promoted by the AU. In order to foster the development of the African continent as a whole, Japan will actively support the continental agendas regarding which the African heads of state and government have been demonstrating political will. At the same time, Japan will promote well-tailored assistance that responds to the diverse development needs of each country.

4. Conclusion

This session is an important opportunity to discuss the outcome documents to be adopted by our heads of state and government at TICAD V. I very much hope to hear the frank views of my distinguished ministerial colleagues so that I may reflect them in the outcome documents.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.