On the very important occasion of the pre-launch of 10 Year PIDA Progress Report, firstly I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all AUDA-NEPAD team members who devoted their efforts to this pre-launch. While congratulating on the completion of the report, I would like to introduce the Japanese engagement toward PIDA as well as Japan-Africa Partnership through decades- long Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
(1) Japan`s Contributions to PIDA
PIDA incorporates two visions advocated by Japan: the concept of Corridor Development and the philosophy of Africa’s ownership in which Japan listens to the voices of Africa. Firstly, the concept of Corridor Development is based on the recognition that promotion of the development of Africa would be difficult without cross-regional analysis. That helps us to find out what the bottlenecks are, for example, in transporting goods from ports through trunk roads to landlocked countries over national borders. Corridor Development is expected to be further promoted toward its completion in 2040. In this context, Japan would like to combine the expertise and resources of both AUDA-NEPAD and JICA, build stronger partnerships, and support infrastructure development across the African continent. Here in Kenya as well, in order to contribute to the realization of PIDA, the Japanese government and JICA helped formulate the Master Plan (M/P) on Logistics in Northern Economic Corridor in 2016. Based on this M/P, multiple projects such as the expansion of Mombasa Port and the construction of future Mombasa Gate Bridge have been underway. The 10-year PIDA Progress Report shows a concrete achievement of the last decade and answers to the current challenges. I would like to point out one of the impressive findings: the question of who is the biggest contributor to the PIDA projects. It is nothing but African countries themselves. This is a strong statement that PIDA is an infrastructure policy framework of Africa, by Africa, and for Africa.
(2) Japan-Africa Partnership through TICAD
The other vision advocated by Japan in PIDA is the basic philosophy of Africa’s ownership that listens to the voices of Africa, which constitutes an imperative philosophy of TICAD. Launched by Japan in 1993, TICAD is one of the oldest and the most inclusive partnership platforms with Africa. TICAD has always shed light on the importance of ownership by Africa and partnership by the international community as an imperative philosophy, and both Japan and Africa have cherished the fruits of TICAD to this day. The Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) was held in Tunis on August 27 and 28, 2022, co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Union Commission (AUC). During TICAD 8, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio expressed the commitment of Japan to stand together with Africa in this critical juncture, exacerbated by global challenges. To fulfill this commitment, Japan announced that it would invest 30 billion USD as the sum of public and private financial contributions over the next three years, with an emphasis on investment in people and the quality of growth. TICAD 9 is scheduled to be held in Japan in 2025. Counting on in our cooperation, it is often said that infrastructure realized by Japan’s cooperation in Africa works for a long time. Based on this brand, Japan will continue to promote the development of Quality Infrastructure that is resilient against disasters by leveraging the advanced technology and know-how that Japanese companies have. Furthermore, at the G7 Hiroshima Summit held in Japan in May 2023, we reaffirmed our shared commitment to “The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) ” launched by the G7. We also aim to mobilize up to 600 billion US dollars by 2027 together with the G7. In addition, through the Quality Infrastructure Conferences (GIC) held bilaterally with 14 countries since 2015, we will further promote to expand the business in Africa by Japanese companies.
Japan has been utilizing external support generously offered by the international community in its struggle during the post-World War II reconstruction period. Japan was obliged to rebuild from scratch as it was devastated by the war. It was almost rebuilding a nation from the ashes. In addition to the hard works of our parents and grandparents who endeavored for the prosperity of Japan, Japan was also fortunate enough to enjoy the kindness and good will rendered by the international community. For instance, Shinkansen, the Japanese Bullet Train, is one of the fruits of international support for significant transportation infrastructure development that enabled Japan to overcome the challenges it faced. My dream is that one day Africa and Japan can further cooperate and pay it forward together for the sake of future generations! Once again, I would like to deliver congratulatory message on the completion of 10 Year PIDA Progress Report as the culmination of a strong and enduring partnership between AUDA-NEPAD and Japan that focuses on advancing African regional integration and infrastructure development. It is my hope that this report will serve as a signpost for real and positive change.