The inaugural Japan-Africa Business Forum and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) took place in Tokyo this week.
The Forum was jointly organised by the African Diplomatic Corps, the African Development Bank, the Nikkei Business Planning and Editorial Centre and the Government of Japan.
NEPAD CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki and Head of Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation, Symerre Johnson-Grey attended the Forum. Dr Mayaki gave a presentation on the design and delivery of PIDA and how the Programme will attract investment in Africa’s infrastructure development.
The Forum brought together the private sector from African countries and Japan. Its aim is to encourage collaboration on various development priorities in Africa.
Dr Mayaki called for “intelligent partnerships" with Japan’s private sector that will be anchored on the principle of mutual benefit. He said that that while there continues to be a lot of satisfaction over registered economic growth in Africa, leaders are cautious not to become too excited by these impressive growth rates.
While in Japan Dr Mayaki and Senior Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr Hideaki Domichi signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure and agriculture development. Priority areas of cooperation will focus on the implementation and monitoring of PIDA projects, in particular project preparation and evaluation.
NEPAD and Japan will work together on capacity development for CAADP and joint cooperation on JICA’s initiatives in agriculture, such as the Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD), within the CAADP framework.
CARD is a consultative group of bilateral donors and international organisations working in collaboration with rice-producing African countries. Its goal is to support the efforts of African countries to double rice production on the continent to 28 million tons per annum by 2018.
Institutional support and strengthened coordination between JICA and the NEPAD through cooperation such as dispatching JICA experts to NEPAD Agency was also discussed.