Gabonese leader Omar Bongo leaves for Tokyo TICAD III

Libreville- Gabon (PANA) -- Gabonese President Omar Bongo left Libreville Saturday for Tokyo, Japan to attend the third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) from 27 September to 1 October.
In a move to help the African continent out of poverty, Japan proposes an alliance between TICAD and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
Africa's ownership of the development programme requires good governance in order to strengthen peace and development initiatives, notably under NEPAD, the Japanese embassy in Libreville said.
According to the embassy, Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal - NEPAD's initiators - will attend the Tokyo summit.
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, current chairman of the African Union (AU), will also attend the meeting.
Several African leaders including Mbeki, Obasanjo, Wade and President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria designed NEPAD in 2001 following the merger of two Pan-African economic strategies developed, to pull Africa out of under-development and attract investors into the continent.
According to Japanese diplomatic sources, "TICAD III, launched in 1993, marks the 10th anniversary since Japan first initiated efforts to encourage international partnerships for the development of Africa, notably through cooperation with Asia, in conjunction with the United Nations and the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA).
The current Tokyo conference will assess the progress made over the past 10 years.
Newly identified priorities are expected to announced at this meeting.
Apart from the Japanese government, co-organisers of TICAD III are the GCA, the Office of the United Nations Special Adviser for Africa, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
TICAD III will be attended by a large spectrum of participants from public and private sectors in Africa and Asia, donor countries, non-governmental organisations, academics and civil society leaders.
About 38 donor countries and Asian nations will be represented, as well as 15 African organisations and 32 international organisations.
Initiatives taken under TICAD range from agriculture to high-tech industry.
The priorities approved by regional consultations prior to the Tokyo conference include full involvement of the private sector, enhancement of human resources, mobilisation of action against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, improvement of water supply and others.
TICAD was set up in 1993 by the Japanese government, the UNDP and the GCA to encourage Africa's development.

27 september 2003 11:44:00




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