The 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) has opened in Nairobi, Kenya with a call by the Japanese Prime Minister Chinzo Abe for Africa to be given a permanent slot on the United Nations Security Council.
President Yoweri Museveni is among the several heads of state attending the conference that is taking place in Africa for the first time since its inception in 1993. The conference is held under the theme “Partnership for shared prosperity”.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on Saturday morning, Mr Abe said: “Africa does not have a permanent member at the United Nations Security Council. It should have one by 2023,” he said.
PM Abe pledged Japan’s commitment towards helping Africa solve challenges like epidemics and insecurity. He also said his Government would allocate US$ 10 billion towards supporting modern transport and electricity supply in Africa for the next three years.
Japan, Premier Abe said, would train 18,000 Africans by 2018 to improve the continent’s human resource. Another 20,000 would be trained to tackle infectious diseases.
He observed that the Japanese companies were committed to ensuring high quality products, adding that a quality Africa would be built by providing modern transport and electricity supply, largely geothermal.
The other plans would be to help Africa achieve universal healthcare, ensure the seas linking Africa to Japan are safe and help in peace and stability efforts.
PM Abe noted that young people with high esteem who should be supported to achieve their potential characterize the continent. He called on the delegates to let Africa and Japan share a common vision.
President Idris Deby of Chad, who also doubles as the African Union Chairman, said Japan should invest in Africa with the goal of improving infrastructure, water and energy. He observed that the move would enable the continent to achieve its dreams.
Deby said that peace, stability and security were prerequisites to Africa’s development, calling on Japan and other partners to facilitate the African Fund against terrorism.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma said that there should be partnership for shared prosperity. She said industrialization needs energy and thanked the World Bank, UNDP and TICAD for their efforts to have progress in the continent.
The two-day summit closes tomorrow (Sunday).