In the capital city of Tunisia, discussions have taken place between African heads of state and a Japanese delegation with the goal of encouraging “African-led” development. Attendees at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, also known as TICAD, were given a warm welcome by President Kais Saied of Tunisia.
Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, has tested positive for COVID-19, and he participated in the summit via video link. Macky Sall, the Chair of the African Union, presided over the meeting.
At a time when the rules-based international order is in jeopardy as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Japan has announced that it will provide $30 billion in aid for development in Africa. The country also stated that it wants to engage more closely with the African continent. Kishida said that the $30 billion in aid would be spread out over three years. Smaller amounts would be given for food security in partnership with the African Development Bank.
The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, expressed his confidence in the summit. “Nearly 30 years after its launch, the Tokyo International Conference for African Development continues to deliver on its promises with concrete results in the areas of education, agriculture, health, and water, to give just a few examples,” he said.
On the agenda are actions that are intended to counteract the effect that China has on Africa. In recent years, China has been rapidly growing its influence in the region, particularly through its ambitious “Silk Roads” project, which has been a major factor in this trend. But the summit is especially important for Tunisia because the country is still in the middle of a political and economic crisis. The cholera pandemic and the recent conflict in Ukraine, which has affected wheat imports, have made the situation worse.
It is Tunisia’s goal that by participating in this conference, they would be able to get investors to fund approximately 80 projects totaling 2.7 billion dollars in the health, automotive, space, and renewable energy sectors. These projects are anticipated to generate 35,700 new jobs. There are approximately thirty heads of state present at the summit, which will continue until Sunday.