Panafrican News Agency

Kenya: Japan announces big increase in aid to Africa

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced a big increase in the amount of Japanese aid to Africa, rising to US$30 billion over the next three years to 2019, with a third of the amount set aside to modernise urban transport and power generation.

The announcement was made at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VI, which opened in Nairobi on Saturday, with 34 African heads of State present, to discuss Africa's development.

"Japan wants to work together with you in Africa in order to make the seas that connect the two continents into peaceful seas that are governed by the rule of law. That is what we wish to do with you," Prime Minister Abe told the leaders in his opening speech at the TICAD Summit.

The Japanese government, which has been investing in infrastructure projects in Africa, pledged to increase the amount of funds it currently has in the sector to US$10 billion, a portion of which would be channeled through the African Development Bank (AfDB). The funds would be spent on modernising roads, urban transport and electricity generation.

The comprehensive aid package aims to provide Africa with 30,000 engineers to contribute to Africa's economic development and industrialisation. The engineers would receive training at Japanese Kousen institutions.

Japan also announced US$500 million to be contributed towards addressing the health challenges facing the continent. The money would be channeled through the World Bank to finance efforts to address the effect of pandemics and other infectious diseases.

The Japanese Prime Minister said the investment would stop the death of 300,000 people in Africa and help to empower 2 million people to access quality access to universal healthcare.

The healthcare initiative aims to train 20,000 people over the next three years in handling healthcare challenges.

Japan, which rapidly increased its industrial development capacity using the "Kaizen work ethics, wants to have it rolled out in Africa. Japan wants New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to implement the Kaizen plan to improve productivity.
-0- PANA AO/MA 27Aug2016