unctad.org | Deputy Secretary-General meets with Japanese aid agencies
Deputy Secretary-General meets with Japanese aid agencies
11 juin 2013

The Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD has discussed intensified cooperation for aid to Africa, with the heads of three Japanese development agencies. The meetings took place on the occasion of the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), which was held in Yokohama from 1 to 3 June. ​

UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Petko Draganov held discussions with the Presidents of three Japanese aid agencies that play major roles in funding for African development: the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Discussion centred on how UNCTAD and the respective agencies can cooperate, and in which areas. The three organizations and UNCTAD agreed to intensify their cooperation and to identify further areas for collaboration.

Following Japan's pledge at the conference of up to ¥3.2 trillion (US$32 billion) in government and private aid for Africa over the next five years, TICAD's follow-up activities are seen as extremely relevant for UNCTAD. Of the total, Japan's official development assistance to the continent will come to ¥1.4 trillion ($14 billion).

Mr. Draganov noted that the goals of TICAD were in line with those of UNCTAD, and were focused on sustainable development in Africa.

TICAD V covered all aspects of development - infrastructure, human resources, health, agriculture and education - however trade and investment, UNCTAD's particular areas of expertise, were central themes to the conference. UNCTAD's participation at the high-level meeting was therefore significant, Mr. Draganov noted. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and TICAD Affairs Director-General Yoshifumi Okamura remarked during the conference on the relevance of the TICAD process and its follow-up activities to UNCTAD's work.

TICAD V was attended by the United Nations Secretary-General, numerous Heads of State of African countries, the Presidents of the World Bank and the African Union, and the heads of many major international and regional organizations.

The Government of Japan announced at TICAD V that it would distribute the pledged funds as follows:

  • ¥650 billion ($6.5 billion) on developing African infrastructure over the next five years

  • Funding for 1,000 African youths to study and work as interns in Japan over the next five years

  • The training of 30,000 Africans over the next five years in Africa to help them qualify for employment

  • The setting-up of "personnel development bases" in 10 locations, including Ethiopia and Senegal, and the dispatching of job-training experts to the bases

  • Funding for efforts to shift African agriculture from a subsistence system to a profit-earning system

Other aspects of the funding will be dedicated to goals such as helping Africa achieve universal basic health services, and greater efforts to build peace.

TICAD V ended with the adoption of the Yokohama Declaration and Action Plan, in which trade and investment play central roles. While the Declaration and Action Plan documents avoid mentioning specific agency names (except organizing agencies), activities in which UNCTAD is involved are mentioned, including its Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment (PRAI). The Action Plan contains annexes on activities executed by various countries and agencies as relevant, including a number of UNCTAD activities on investment.


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