"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] Yokohama Declaration - Towards A Vibrant Africa

[Place] Yokohama
[Date] May 30, 2008
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1.0 Introduction

1.1 The Heads of State and Government, and delegations of Japan and 51 African countries, together with the representatives of 34 other countries, 75 international and regional organizations, and representatives of the private sector, academic institutions and civil society organizations from both Africa and Asia, met in Yokohama, Japan from 28 to 30 May, 2008, for the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development - TICAD IV.

1.2 The Conference took place against the backdrop of a rapidly-changing Africa determined to take responsibility for and to assert ownership over its own destiny: and an Africa increasingly confident and capable, itself, of determining that destiny.

1.3 The Participants at TICAD IV acknowledged that from its inception in 1993, the TICAD Process with Japan at its center and other co-organizers including the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank playing a valuable role stressed the importance for Africa to exercise full “ownership” of its own development agenda and the need for a genuine “partnership” with the international community in pursuit of that agenda. In this regard, the TICAD Process has also served as a bridge between Africa and Japan and Asia as a whole, and as a Forum through which the Asian development experience can be shared with Africa. It is clear that the pursuit of an even closer relationship, based on shared concerns and common strategic interests, is of critical importance in terms of further enhancing global development and stability.

1.4 The Participants at TICAD IV also recognized the need for Africa’s diversified development partners, working together with the governments of Africa and with the African Union (AU) and its institutions and programmes - in particular the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) - to actively strive for far greater synergy and effective coordination between and among existing and future initiatives in support of the continent’s development.

2.0 Recent Trends and Challenges

2.1 The Participants at TICAD IV acknowledged the positive trends which have emerged across the African continent in general since TICAD III in 2003. Increasing political stability and improved governance, buttressed by strong economic growth and rising levels of foreign direct investment - much of it coming from Asia - have helped to create a new awareness of trade, investment and tourism opportunities available across the continent. These opportunities present a hitherto unprecedented prospect for the countries of Africa to achieve real and sustainable economic growth, and to make, thereby, real and sustainable progress towards poverty alleviation, and genuine improvements in the quality of life and self-reliance across the continent.

2.2 In this regard, the Participants at TICAD IV commended the birth in 2001 of NEPAD, the transformation of the Organization of African Unity into AU in 2002 and the increasing effectiveness of Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (REC’s) as further confirmation of Africa’s determination, and enhanced capacity to exercise full ownership of its own development agenda. The Participants also welcomed the strengthening of cooperation between AU and TICAD, which is exemplified by the resolution adopted at the Tenth Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly held in Addis Ababa from 31 January to 2 February 2008.

2.3 The Participants also took note of the outcome of this above-mentioned AU Assembly, which called, inter alia, for an immediate acceleration in the industrialization of Africa, a definitive shift away from dependence on primary products, and the development of Africa-based industries for local value-addition and processing.

2.4 The Participants at TICAD IV noted the strenuous efforts being made by the African countries themselves towards improved governance across the continent, including the ongoing work of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

2.5 The Participants at TICAD IV recognized that, notwithstanding these very encouraging trends, the countries of Africa continue to face a number of serious challenges and that achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be a difficult task. The most immediate of these challenges includes continuing widespread poverty and unemployment in rural and urban areas coupled with rapid population growth. Other significant challenges are low agricultural productivity, together with generally poor agricultural infrastructure, and the increasingly severe effects of climate change; low levels of industrialization and inadequate generation of and access to energy across the continent; the scourge of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases which continues its ravages across much of the continent; inadequate access to education at all levels and a corresponding lack of adequate education-infrastructure - specially in sub-Saharan Africa. The Participants emphasized the special needs of least developed countries, land-locked and small island developing states. They also paid special attention to the issue of soaring rise of food prices and its negative impact on poverty reduction in Africa.

2.6 The Participants acknowledged that while African governments bear primary responsibility for the economic and social well-being of their respective peoples, the international community and, Africa’s development partners in particular, have a crucial role to play in supporting Africa’s own efforts to address and overcome these challenges.

2.7 In this regard, the Participants stressed the importance for the G8 countries to honor the commitments already made in respect of support for African development and for all Africa’s development partners, including emerging partners to work towards a greater coordination and strengthening of the broad international partnership with the African continent - specifically to facilitate a greater focus of effort and to avoid duplication and any unnecessary wastage of scarce resources.

2.8 Building on the positive trends in Africa and guided by the vision outlined in NEPAD, but also fully cognizant of the considerable developmental challenges which continue to confront the countries of Africa, the Participants at TICAD IV committed themselves to work together on the following specific but inter-related priority-areas:

−Towards Boosting Economic Growth

−Towards Ensuring Human Security, including achieving MDGs and consolidation of peace and good governance

−Towards Addressing Environmental Issues and Climate Change

3.0 Boosting Economic Growth:

Forging a Genuine Partnership towards a Vibrant, Prosperous Africa

3.1 The Participants at TICAD IV stressed that it is essential to accelerate broad-based economic growth and diversification and acknowledged the enormous, as-yet largely untapped natural- resource potential across the continent.

Human Resource Development

3.2 The Participants at TICAD IV noted the enormous challenges facing African countries in the area of human resource development, especially in the field of science and technology. They noted the significant contribution being made in this regard by Japan and other development partners, and recognized the considerable potential for expansion in this critical sector of development cooperation.

Accelerated Industrial Development

3.3 The Participants recalled the conclusions of the Tenth Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, with regard to the urgent need to accelerate the industrial development of Africa.


3.4 The Participants emphasized the fundamental need to focus on the development of region- wide infrastructure.

Agricultural and Rural Development

3.5 The Participants at TICAD IV acknowledged the role of agriculture as a major component of economic activity across the continent, and emphasized the urgent need to significantly enhance current levels of agricultural productivity, and increase support to this critical sector, including through provision and management of water resources. Agricultural and rural reform in the framework of the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) were acknowledged as effective means to achieve food security and poverty alleviation and major driving forces for economic growth. In this regard, it is important to provide assistance for rural entrepreneurs and local industries.

Trade and Investment

3.6 The Participants at TICAD IV noted that, although the current levels of international trade and investment with African countries, including trade and investment flows between Africa and Japan, and other Asian countries had certainly improved, Africa’s share of global trade and investment flows was still insignificant. Accordingly, the Participants recognized the need to work together for the early, fair and balanced conclusion of the WTO Doha Round. They also acknowledged the importance of “Aid for Trade” initiative.

Promotion of Tourism

3.7 The Participants stressed that Africa has enormous potential in this sector, and that tourism has the dual effect of positively impacting on several other sectors whilst building a positive image of Africa. They emphasized the importance, for African countries, to cooperate more closely in the tourism sector and, in this regard, recognized the need for sharing of experiences and know how as well as the promotion of technical cooperation programs. The specific importance of Eco- tourism was also underlined.

Role of the Private Sector

3.8 The Participants at TICAD IV noted, also, the important role of the private sector - both domestic and foreign - in the promotion and financing of sustainable economic growth in Africa, especially with regard to the effective exploitation of the continent’s natural resources, and the development of industrial, energy and mineral, agricultural, financial and other services sectors, and, equally, in the development and management of Africa’s considerable human resources.

3.9 In this context, and spurred by the progress being made towards improving the overall business climate across the continent, the Participants welcomed the growing interest and activities of the Japanese and other Asian private sectors. They also welcomed Japan’s initiative to strengthen closer Public-Private Partnerships by promoting trade and investment in Africa.

4.0 Achieving the Millennium Development Goals - MDGs:

Economic and Social Dimension of “Human Security”

4.1 The Participants at TICAD IV noted that more vigorous impetus is necessary to attain the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. They acknowledged the inter-relatedness of the MDG’s and the urgent need to promote a more fully-comprehensive approach towards their general attainment.

4.2 The Participants welcomed TICAD IV’s focus upon and promotion of the concept of “human security”, which underscores freedom from fear and freedom from want, and emphasizes the protection and empowerment of individuals and communities.

4.3 Community Development: Building Safe and Healthy Communities

The Participants acknowledged that strengthening a comprehensive and community- based approach would help in achieving the MDGs. This approach encompasses human resource development, decent job-creation, in particular for the youth, income generation, expansion of access to primary health-care and basic education, as well as agricultural and rural development, including through promotion of the One-Village-One-Product (OVOP) movement.

4.4 Education: Realizing Education which opens up a New Future

The Participants stressed the fundamental need to improve the quality of and expanding access to education for all African people, with special emphasis on youth, and to promote education linked to growth and self-sustainability, including technical and vocational training, science and higher education, while ensuring a cross-sectoral approach.

4.5 Health: Ensuring Reliable Health and Sanitation

In addition to tackling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, polio and other infectious diseases, the Participants acknowledged the significance of strengthening health systems to effectively deal with major health challenges including maternal, new-born, and child health. The Participants highlighted the importance of human resource development of health workers and expressed concern regarding the brain-drain of skilled health professionals.

The Participants warmly welcomed the creation of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, the first ever of its kind.

4.6 Gender: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Recognizing the significant role of women in development and peace consolidation, the Participants at TICAD IV reemphasized the importance of advancing and protecting the human rights of women and promoting women’s empowerment. They stressed the need to address issues such as disparity in education, violence against women, and insufficient participation of women in all spheres of decision making, while taking into account the cultural specificities of different countries.

5.0 Consolidation of Peace and Good Governance: Political Dimension of “Human Security”

5.1 The Participants reiterated that development and peace must work in tandem with each other. They noted the significant progress made in this regard across the African continent and stressed that, to realize a Vibrant Africa, dividends of peace must spread to every corner of the continent.

5.2 The Participants also reemphasized that countries coming out of conflict need special assistance to get on the path of reconstruction and sustainable development and to enjoy the fruits of prosperity. For this to come about, seamless peace-building efforts encompassing conflict prevention, early warning measures, conflict resolution, and preventing relapses into conflict, are critical as they will promote durable peace on the continent. To sustain peace acquired through these processes, sound vigorous democracy, continuous and inclusive dialogue, and strengthened governance need to be vigorously fostered. Furthermore, a smooth transition between one phase and another, and linkages between support for peace consolidation and other areas of development, are also crucial.

5.3 The Participants put an emphasis on the importance of Africa’s ownership and welcomed AU’s initiatives such as the Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to improve governance. The participants also welcomed the goodwill shown by development partners, especially to enhance Africa’s peace-keeping capabilities. The participants also called attention to the significant role of the UN and its bodies such as the Security Council and the Peace Building Commission as well as the AU, Africa’s regional organizations and African countries themselves contributing to peace keeping operations. They commended the mediation efforts of African countries for the reconciliation and peaceful resolution of armed conflicts, as well as their engagement in peace-keeping operations.

5.4 The Participants emphasized the importance of the early reform of the main UN bodies including the Security Council to better meet the international environment of the 21st century. The Participants reemphasized that the member states should exert efforts on the Security Council reform during the current session of the UN General Assembly.

6.0 Addressing Environmental Issues and Climate Change: To establish “Cool Earth Partnership”

6.1 Climate Change:

−The Participants at TICAD IV noted that African countries, which emit the least and embrace the Congo Basin, considered as the second largest ecological “lung” in the world, have generally been extremely vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, including increased environmental degradation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and droughts and desertification that further threaten food security and health, as well as to increasingly frequent extreme weather patterns. African countries continue to be inadequately equipped in terms of their mitigation and adaptation capacities.

−The Participants at TICAD IV recognized the need to assist Africa to enhance environment protection initiatives and welcomed the initiatives taken by Africans themselves including the International Solidarity Conference on Climate Change Strategies for African and Mediterranean Regions held in Tunisia in November 2007. African countries appreciated Japan’s “Cool Earth Promotion Programme” and acknowledged Japan’s efforts in seeking to develop an international framework looking beyond the first steps taken in the current Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

−In this regard, the Participants welcomed the announcement by the Government of Japan, in January 2008, of its intention to establish a “Cool Earth Partnership” with US $ 10 billion Financial Mechanism on the basis of policy consultations between Japan and developing countries - including African countries - to address the effects of climate change and to modernize their industries, by way of technology-transfer, to render them more energy-efficient and more environment-friendly.

6.2 Water: Securing access to water and sanitation

−The Participants acknowledged the importance of water as an indispensable resource for addressing development needs such as health, agriculture/food production, disaster risk reduction, and peace and security. They also acknowledged that it was essential to promote the sustainable use of water resources.

6.3 Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

−The Participants acknowledged the importance of the Education for Sustainable Development initiative and its promotion to address environmental issues effectively.

7.0 A Broadened Partnership: TICAD within a Broadened Global Partnership towards a Vibrant Africa

7.1 The Participants at TICAD IV acknowledged that, since its inception in 1993, the TICAD Process has strengthened the twin concepts of “Ownership” and “Partnership” and has made a significant contribution to African development.

7.2 The Participants recognized the importance of enhanced South-South cooperation within the context of TICAD Process and acknowledged the positive results of efforts, under TICAD Initiative, to promote trade and investment flows between Asia and Africa as well as encourage intra-Africa trade.

7.3 The Participants acknowledged the active involvement of African, Japanese and international civil society organizations in the TICAD process, and the importance of further broadening the existing TICAD partnership using a participatory approach. They also stressed the need to achieve greater synergy and coordination between and among existing initiatives so as to attain greater coherence, focus and efficiency in the overall global development partnership for a vibrant Africa.

8.0 The Way Forward

8.1 The Participants at TICAD IV noted, with sincere appreciation, the continuing commitment of development partners including the Government of Japan, other TICAD co-organizers and the international community to the promotion of African development and, in particular, their championing of the TICAD Process.

8.2 The Participants warmly welcomed the progress achieved so far by the TICAD Process, and also commended the action-oriented outcome of the Conference and appreciated that this was clearly captured in this Declaration and in the accompanying TICAD IV Action Plan.

8.3 The Participants also welcomed the establishment of a TICAD Follow-Up Mechanism, tasked to continuously monitor and analyze the implementation of the TICAD Process as a whole, and the ongoing assessment of its impact upon African development across its many sectors of activity.

8.4 The Participants noted that a successful and timely attainment of the overarching objective of sustained and accelerated African development would require the commitment and engagement of the entire international community, and the knowledge and resources of all of Africa’s development partners to be mobilized in a more consolidated and synergetic manner.

8.5 The Participants welcomed the commitment of Japan, as the G8 Chair, to reflect the outcomes of the TICAD IV at the discussions of the July 2008 G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit and to seek active G8 support for African development. (end)