Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Chairman of the meeting, NEPAD Chief Executive, Prof. Firmino Mucavele, praised Japan’s long-standing commitment to Africa and to NEPAD.
The following areas were covered during the two-day discussions :
Progress was reported on the implementation of a number of NEPAD projects supported by Japan :
The Mali-Senegal South Corridor — Loan approved to finance 81.3km of road construction and basic design completed for bridges ;
The Nacala (Mozambique) Development Corridor — Feasibility study in progress ;
Rehabilitation of ports in Angola — Basic design for grant in progress ;
The Mombasa port rehabilitation in Kenya — Appraisal mission completed ;
East Africa road network programme in Kenya and Tanzania — Financial assistance plan under way ;
One-stop border posts in Kenya, Zambia and Namibia — Technical assistance in progress.
Both sides agreed that capacity building of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is indispensable for implementation of infrastructure projects, and to this end, Japan dispatched a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expert to the East African Community in June 2007.
NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme (CAADP) was discussed and its importance as a core sector programme of food security, poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth was confirmed.
On the New Rice for Africa (NERICA) programme the Japanese reported that in Uganda the transition from the experimentation phase to the production phase is taking place with the NERICA cultivation area exceeding 10,000 hectares. Both sides agreed to make efforts to promote NERICA in other countries.
NEPAD explained other prioritised programmes such as the African cassava initiative and the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity.
Human resource development (health and education)
It was reaffirmed that areas covered by Japanese assistance on human resource development are in line with the needs specified by the NEPAD Secretariat.
The strengthening of mathematics and science in secondary education in Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, recognised as an important regional project, has shown steady progress and now involves 34 countries.
The Japanese said the African Institute for Capacity Development based in Kenya is playing a key role in capacity building for poverty reduction in the fields of research and development and ICT with a regional network of 15 research institutions in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Six technical cooperation projects were identified for collaboration with NEPAD ;
Research and control of infectious and parasitic diseases (Central Medical Institute in Kenya) ;
The West African Centre for Institutional Parasite Control (Ghana) ;
Vocational training for African countries (Senegal) ;
Vocational training for instructors (Uganda) ;
“School for All” (Niger).
ICT /science and technology
The importance of ICT/science and technology as a basis of sustainable development of Africa was reaffirmed.
NEPAD explained the core activities of the e-Africa Commission, such as the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative and the ICT infrastructure network. The Japanese expressed their intention to consider knowledge transfer in this area.
Private sector development/trade and investment
In the context of Africa’s needs the Japanese explained their development initiative for trade. This consists of the four areas of assistance : (1) knowledge and technology, (2) finance, (3) human resources and (4) systems development in three stages : production, distribution and cross-border trade as well as enhanced duty-free and quota-free market access to Japan.
The Japanese referred to the results of the TICAD ministerial conference on energy and environment for sustainable development held in Nairobi, Kenya, in March, and indicated that special emphasis is to be placed on environmental issues and climate change at TICAD IV next year.
The two sides agreed on the addition of the environment as the fifth priority sector in Japan’s support to NEPAD.
* TICAD IV – the Tokyo International Conference on African Development — will be held in Yokohama, Japan, on 28-30 May 2008, with the basic theme of “Towards a vibrant Africa : continent of hope and opportunity”.
The aim is to discuss priorities and methods to strengthen positive trends in Africa in both economic and political areas and to mobilise knowledge and resources of the international community for the sustainable development of Africa.
The importance of the following four areas of cooperation was noted at the Pretoria meeting :
boosting growth ; achieving the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) ; consolidation of peace and democratisation ; and addressing environmental and climate change. Source : NEPAD, 17 août 2007