- Outcomes in terms of Various Sectors is Highly Anticipated at the Conference
The ministerial preparatory meeting of the fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) was held for the first time in Ethiopia, Addis Abeba, at the Head Quarters of the African Union (AU) located at the Roosevelt Street for two days.
The meeting was held in Ethiopia as the host country is also a co-organizer of the event through the African Union Commission (AUC) in addition to the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as well as the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA). This is expected to help TICAD held discussions rooted in African ownership, according to Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs to Japan at the opening session of the meeting on Saturday, March 16, 2013.
The upcoming event which will be held in June 2013 in Tokyo is also anticipated to have historical significance as it will be held in the 50th year anniversary of AU and the 20th years of TICAD.
The preparatory meeting was attended by Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minster of Ethiopia; Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia, Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the AUC and Fumio Kishida.
“Ethiopia will endeavor to make sure that the partnership with Africa has established with different members of the international community will deliver concrete results” says Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegne to the attendees.
He also said that creating partnership with international organization and community would help the nation in terms of employment creation, transfer of technology and know-how as well as agricultural and infrastructural development.
As its first effort in preparation for TICAD V, Japan has decided to provide assistance in the amount of about 550 million dollars in order to ensure peace and stability, which are an important foundation for growth and prosperity in Africa. This amount includes a contribution of six million dollars to AFISMA, which is a manifestation of Africa’s own determination and efforts to foster stability in the Sahel region.
Top priorities of TICAD is to enhance drivers for growth by promoting trade and investment in the priority areas of infrastructure and agriculture as well as stimulate the private sector, according to Yokohama Action Plan 2013-2017 final draft, which is going to be discussed at TICAD V.
The study further states that Africa’s share in the global trade stands at the only three percent and intra-regional trade is also low with only 12pc of total trade.
“There is a greater need to increase intra-regional trade by developing growth corridor and supply chains as benefits are enormous in terms of creating larger markets and helping countries diversify their economies” the study recommends as to how to change the current image of Africa.
The other main focus of TICAD V is also going to be elimination of trade barriers and capacity development for governments of Africa and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
Among the specific sectors is Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), Capacity Development Strategic Framework (CDSF), Pan African University (PAU) and Centres of Excellence as well as Youth Volunteer Program of AUC.
“We hope that the coming conference will bring its sole purpose and the outcome could benefit the continent as well as Ethiopia in terms of adding to the stock of development we have made so far” the Prime Minister further states.
TICAD, which is now held every five years, was first held following the end of the Cold War, when the interest in Africa had started to fade, it stirred a new interest in Africa among the international community in 1993. It was launched aiming at promoting high-level of policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.
By HADRA AHMED - www.DireTube.com