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The African/Japan Summit 2013

By Sophie Ogden, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

In honour of the African/Japan summit that took place from the 1st to the 3rd of June, the penguins from the Yokohama Hakkeijima parc (Japan) paraded in traditional African dress, the “Boubou”. This anecdotal fact actually drew the attention of international media to the TICAD summit itself (the Tokyo International Conference on African Development) that usually takes place once every five years.

3422099_3_18bc_le-premier-ministre-japonais-shinzo-abe_d50021f9f1cb9043eea5525d08a59d15

TICAD was first launched in 1993 to demonstrate Japan’s commitment to contribute to the development of Africa. The Land of the rising sun believes that global peace and prosperity are possible only when the African problems will be solved. The objectives of the TICAD are two-fold: to promote dialogue and partnership between African heads and second to encourage “African-owned” projects.

This year, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, promised €10,6 billion (¥3200 billion) over 5 years for Africa in order to develop economic growth, €5 billion (¥650 billion) of which will directly go towards infrastructure, more specifically transport infrastructure. It is estimated that overall, Africa looses 2% of growth because of lack of infrastructure. The funds will come from private investors and public support. After the dramatic event which happened in Algeria where 10 Japanese nationals died, the program will also give particular emphasis to bringing stability in the Sahel region through education, women empowerment youth support and health. The prime-minister made personal contact with the about 40 African leaders and pushed for bilateral agreements between an African country and Japan. On another tune, this is a big shift compared to the 2008 summit and it is believed that Japan wants to gain from African resources and to catch up with China´s influence in the region.

In the end what really matters is how investments can improve the situation and how Africa will develop on its own.

Sources:

http://www.connectionivoirienne.net/inolites-pingouins-japonais-en-boubou-pour-celebrer-le-sommet-japon-afrique-video/

http://www.ticad.net/about/index.html

http://www.lemonde.fr/japon/article/2013/06/01/le-japon-investit-en-afrique-pour-tenter-de-rattraper-la-chine_3422097_1492975.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/afrique/monde/2013/05/130531_sommet_japon_afrique.shtml

Pictures:

http://www.lemonde.fr/japon/article/2013/06/01/le-japon-investit-en-afrique-pour-tenter-de-rattraper-la-chine_3422097_1492975.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/ic/640×360/worldservice/assets/images/2013/05/31/130531170648_penguins_japon_640x360__nocredit.jpg

 

Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies Publication

Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

http://www.ccds-berlin.de

http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org

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About icdblogsphereteam

We are the Blogsphere Team of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. We are the interactive part of the web resources of ICD. We spread culture and mutual understanding among cultures through blogs.

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