Panafrican News Agency

Kenya: African leaders urge Japanese firms to invest in Africa

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - African Union Chairman Idris Deby, on Sunday called on the Japanese government to continue emphasising the need for Japanese firms to invest in Africa.

Speaking in his closing remarks at the two-day Summit on investment and economic development in Africa, which drew 34 African heads of state, the Chadian President said the key concern by African countries was how to ensure that Japanese firms invest in Africa and working on ways to ensure that the joint partnership between Africa and Japan is beneficial to the rest of the African continent.

“Without effective implementation, it would be difficult to meet the objectives of this partnership,” President Deby, who co-chaired the Summit with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, told African leaders and top African and Japanese entrepreneurs at the close of the 27-28 August Summit.

During the Summit, Japan pledged a lavish US$30 billion investment in Africa, targeting improvement of roads and urban transport systems while also putting funds in the training of at least 30,000 engineers.

Prime Minister Abe outlined a plan for three years, focusing on the training of engineers, health professionals to work on infectious diseases and a series of scholarships to improve productivity and corporate leadership in Africa, which is critical to creating wealth.

The Japanese measures seek to empower 2 million people in Africa through access to health insurance and universal healthcare.

Prime Minister Abe came to Nairobi with 100 Chief Executive Officers of Japan’s top corporations, promising the willingness by the Japanese firms to work with African countries in development.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta offered a “tremendous vote of thanks” to all those who made it happen in the Kenyan capital, attending the TICAD VI Summit, which attracted 6,000 delegates.

President Kenyatta said the TICAD Summit adopted a declaration, providing a blueprint for the continuous engagement between Japan and Africa on matters of regional cooperation.

President Kenyatta said the Summit proved that matters concerning Africa’s development can now be determined by the African countries themselves.

“We have come a long way from the days when decisions concerning Africa were made in shadowy corners by unknown organisations,” President Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan President equated the grandness of the declarations arrived at in Nairobi, to the outcome of the Berlin Conference on the demarcation of Africa.

“We agreed through negotiations and dialogue. We brought forth transformative change,” President Kenyatta added.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 28Aug2016