Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday renewed Tokyo’s pledge to boost investment in Africa through the country’s private sector in the hope of helping the continent’s development, Kyodo reported.
“The Japanese government will make utmost effort so that the amount of private investment will surpass (the current pace), which amounted to $20 billion over three years,” Abe said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the three-day Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama, near Tokyo.
A total of $25.6 billion has been invested in the continent from the Japanese private sector since 2016, according to the Foreign Ministry.
“We will take every step to help Japanese companies to make inroads in Africa,” the premier also said.
The seventh TICAD will focus more on business opportunities than previous meetings as Tokyo believes investment by the private sector is crucial to realizing sustainable economic growth of the resource-rich continent whose population is projected to reach 2.5 billion in 2050, or a quarter of the global population, government officials said.
Abe also said Japan will continue its human resource development program for Africa, aiming to train 3,000 people over six years, who can contribute to the promotion of business between Japan and Africa.
As part of the government’s efforts to assist Japanese firms’ advance into Africa, a business dialogue headed by representatives of the government and companies will be held on the second day of the conference.
Leaders or representatives from around 50 African nations and officials from international organizations are expected to discuss other topics such as the promotion of resilient and sustainable societies, as well as peace and stability.