Monday, 27 May 2013

Kagame invited for Japan – Africa development meet


Amb. Kazuya inspects a guard of honour before presenting his credentials to President Kagame. He said Rwanda, as one of the fastest developing African countries has much to share at the summit.
President Paul Kagame has been invited to attend the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) scheduled for June 1-3 in Yokohama, Japan.

TICAD aims to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and their partners as well as to mobilise support for African-owned development initiatives.

Speaking to The New Times after presenting his credentials to President Kagame, last week, the Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda, Kazuya Ogawa said Rwanda, as one of the fastest developing African countries has much to share at the summit. 

 “President Kagame participated in the previous TICAD and he is again ready to attend TICAD V. TICAD is platform to talk about economic roles in Africa but also issues of women empowerment, peace and security. This meeting encompasses many aspects of the African continent,” said Amb. Kazuya.

The theme of the upcoming TICAD is, ‘Hand in Hand with a more dynamic Africa’

Amb. Kazuya pointed out that “Rwanda has registered a very impressive economic growth and this why President Kagame will play a leading role at the summit.” 

Rwanda’s economy grew by 7.7 per cent in 2012, despite aid cuts and a tough global economic environment.

In his assessment of the impact of TICAD to Africa’s economic growth, Rwanda’s Finance Minister, Amb. Claver Gatete, said that “TICAD summits have been very helpful to Africa’s socio-economic development and Rwanda has been a beneficiary of the strong support that the Government of Japan and its people have generously extended to our development.”

Gatete added that Japan’s development assistance to Rwanda annually is US$30 million channelled through various assistance schemes.

“We have seen strong support in energy, water and agriculture. The previous summits emphasised support to Africa development through the broader TICAD framework which entailed promoting Africa’s ownership and leadership over its development agenda which Rwanda has demonstrably achieved.”


According to the Minister, as a result of the TICAD framework, Rwanda has partnered with the Japanese on several programmes, including the Project for Improvement of Substations and Distribution Network amounting to JPY 2,454 million ($32 million), food security project for underprivileged farmers amounting to JPY 190 million (approx. $2.5 million), and increasing the Capacity of Tumba College of Technology.

Other areas that have been impacted by resolutions of TICAD include Rwanda’s partnership with the Japanese government to improve water supply and sanitation in the southern part of the Eastern Province for about US$ 350.000 as well as technical assistance.

“The summits have been impactful and provided a platform to enhance bilateral development cooperation between Japan and African countries and in particular with Rwanda,” said Gatete.

Meanwhile, reports from the Japanese Times indicate that a draft declaration of African leaders and their development partners will pledge to achieve “quality growth” and address security and 
poverty issues on the continent, according to a draft declaration for the upcoming TICAD conference.

In the declaration to be adopted at the end of the conference, the participants will likely pledge to accelerate infrastructure development, expand agriculture and agribusiness and create 
an “inclusive” society for growth to combat a widening gap between the rich and poor.


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