"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] Remarks by Mr. Manabu Horii, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan at the Plenary 2 of theTICAD Ministerial Meeting in Maputo, Mozambique

[Date] August 25, 2017
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Honorable Ministers,

Distinguished delegates and representatives of international organizations,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Economic growth has long been a key theme for TICAD.The recent decline in international prices of natural resources has resulted in a slowdown of Africa's growth. It revealed the need to restructure the commodity-based economy to a more diversified one.

Faced with this emerging challenge, we identified in Nairobi Declaration at TICAD VI "promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialization" as one of the main pillars of our efforts in support of Africa.

To this end, Japan committed to promotion of free and fair trade, enhancement of connectivity by quality infrastructure and the promotion of private sector activities through such means as human resource development and productivity improvement.Since then, much progress has been made in both the public and private sectors.

First, let me explain the progress made in the public sector.In order to improve the business environment, Japan is proactively conducting bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiations with African countries. Indeed, Japan is engaging in negotiation or consultation of investment treaties with thirteen African countries. In addition to this, Japanese public-private missions have visited a number of countries in Africa including Kenya, Morocco, and Nigeria.

With respect to our efforts to enhance region-wide connectivity, Japan announced to implement quality infrastructure investment of approximately USD 10 billion at TICAD VI. Since 2016, Japan has already invested around 380 billion yen, equivalent to roughly 38% of the commitment, primarily in electricity and transport.

Furthermore, JICA has been supporting the formulation of strategic master plans for three regions, namely East African Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor, and West Africa Growth Ring.A master plan for Nacala corridor was formulated last year and remaining master plans will be finalized this year. These master plans are expected to help to bridge between different economies and enhance interactions among consumers, producers and farmers.

In this context, I would like to emphasize that, in order to reinforce connectivity in Africa, it is important to promote quality infrastructure in accordance with international standards and in such a way that ensures economic viability and fiscal soundness. Japan wishes to cooperate with TICAD partners to ensure open, fair and transparent operation of key infrastructures including international ports.

Improving productivity, especially in the area of agriculture, is also essential to achieving sustainable growth. Japan has been providing capacity building assistance to approximately 13 thousand individuals and transferred rice cultivation skills to more than 25 thousand people.

Next, I would like to explain how we could enhance the private sector which is an essential driver for sustainable economic growth in Africa. Firmly believing from its own experience that human resources are the booster of the industry, Japan has already trained approximately 17 thousand African people since 2016. Among them, more than 700 people have been trained in Japan through ABE Initiative 2.0.The total number has already passed more than half of the commitment made at TICAD VI; 30 thousand people by2018. I hope that these people will be the future foreman and managers who will lead the African industry.

The expansion of financial support has also been encouraging the private investment in Africa.For example, in March 2016, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and a Japanese bank cofinanced a project carried by an Angolan telecom operator.This project will lay the world's first optical submarine cable across the South Atlantic, from Angola to Brazil.Japan Oil, Gas and Metal National Cooperation(JOGMEC)and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) have also provided loans and insurance coverage.

These are just a part of progress that has been made thus far.Throughout this session, I am very much looking forward to hearing good practices and lessons learned in the implementation of the TICAD commitments by African countries and by the international partners.

I believe that the good practices and the lessons shared in this session will serve as a guide and inspiration for Africa and Japan in expanding investment for the future of Africa and advancing economic transformation in Africa, and thus contribute to achieving the AU's Agenda 2063.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.