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Ticad8 Summit: Japan moves to elevate ties in Africa

Umamah Bakharia 

Over the weekend, African and Japanese delegates met in Tunisia for the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development summit, known as Ticad8.

 

 

According to South Africa’s ministry of International Relations and Co-Operation, the summit aimed to create a pathway for African development in a post-pandemic era. Speaking to Radio Islam, analyst Ayesha Kajee says Japan has “lost steam” as it competes with China on the African continent.

“At one stage, Japan was one of the leading aid facilitates to Africa, and this conference became really important in the late 1990s up until 2016 when it started to lose steam because of China’s increased involvement in Africa and the rivalry between Beijing and Tokyo,” says Kajee.

However, Japan is expected to offer further support to strengthen the development of the continent’s communication infrastructure and help address food security by investing $30bn in aid. “Countries in the western parts of the [African] continent, as well as the centre [stand to benefit from Japans investment] although the Japenese aid, is fairly distributed but some of the poorest countries like Niger, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) etc. are likely to be beneficiaries,” she says.

France, China and Japan have recently been keenly interested in the African continent. This has raised concern about their influence on African decision-making.

“This courting of African nations in aid terms means that Japan has been expecting something in return in much the same way as China in the resources in Africa,” says Kajee.

Department of International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the summit highlighted the close connection between Japan and Africa and set out a pathway for African development.

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