The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), a Summit-level international policy forum dedicated to African development, convened in Yokohama, Japan from 28 to 30 May, 2008, marking the fifteenth anniversary of the TICAD process. TICAD IV brought together 51 African countries, 74 international and regional organizations, private sector, civil society organizations and notable individuals, all of whom contributed greatly to the discussions. Also participating in the Conference were representatives from 34 partner countries, including the G-8 and Asian countries.
In the opening session, H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan, delivered a keynote address. In his address, he announced Japan's intention to double its ODA to Africa by 2012. The Prime Minister pledged to offer up to US$4 billion of ODA loans to assist Africa in developing mainly its infrastructure as well as to double its grant and technical cooperation over the next five years. He also pledged to extend financial support of US$2.5 billion, including the establishment of the Japan Bank International Cooperation (JBIC) Facility for African Investment, and take other measures to encourage increased private Japanese investment in Africa with the aim of doubling Japanese foreign direct investment to the continent. The Prime Minister stressed Japan's resolve to work together with African countries and the international community towards a Vibrant Africa in a spirit of Afro-optimism.
H.E. Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, made a keynote address in his capacity as the Chairperson of the African Union Assembly, in which he expressed his appreciation for Japan's commitment to assistance for Africa as articulated in Prime Minister Fukuda's speech. He also stated his highest expectations that Japanese investment, coupled with a further expansion of trade between Japan and Africa, would contribute greatly to Africa.
Under the overarching theme: "Towards a Vibrant Africa: a Continent of Hope and Opportunity", the Conference identified the following three priorities:
Boosting economic growth;
Ensuring "human security," including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the consolidation of peace and good governance; and
Addressing environmental issues and climate change.
Emphasizing the critical relevance of these issues, African leaders and their international partners shared ideas on how to enhance and accelerate African development.
General Overview: Fifteen Years of the TICAD Process
The Conference reaffirmed the contributions of the TICAD process to African development over the past 15 years, noting its significant role in mobilizing the international community's interest and commitment to African development and broadening international partners' support for African efforts to alleviate poverty and accelerate economic growth.
The Conference noted that many African countries have made steady improvements in the consolidation of peace, good governance, economic growth and social development in recent years. The continent's economic growth rate has improved significantly, from less than 3% in 1999 to 5.3% in 2006, and to a projected 5.9% in 2007. Sound economic policy has also resulted in improved levels of trade and investment in many cases. The Conference recognized and commended the efforts of African countries and urged the continued support of the international community.
1. Yokohama Declaration
The "Yokohama Declaration" was presented and adopted. The Declaration summarized the outcome of the TICAD process over the past 15 years and confirmed the continuing political commitment of Japan and other partners to African development. The "Yokohama Action Plan," outlining measures to be implemented through the TICAD process during the next five years and a "TICAD Follow-up Mechanism" to monitor implementation and assess the impact of the TICAD process, were introduced. The Declaration also noted Japan's commitment to present the outcome of TICAD IV to the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit to be held from 7 to 9 July 2008.
2. Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, First Ladies Program, and seminars and symposiums
* Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize
TICAD participants welcomed the inception of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, designed to recognize, elevate and mainstream research regarding tropical medicine and health activities in Africa. The first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prizes were presented during the Conference. Prof. Miriam K. Were of the UZIMA Foundation, Kenya, received the medical services award and Dr. Brian Greenwood of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, received the medical research award. The laureates in each category are internationally recognized for their contributions of many years to African health activities and medical research. The Prizes were awarded at a presentation ceremony graced by the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan.
* First Ladies Program
In parallel with the Conference, the First Ladies of African countries and Japan exchanged views on maternal and child health care. The Japanese First Lady introduced the "Maternal and Child Health Handbook," in which mothers record their own health condition and that of their unborn children right up to birth, as well as the development of their babies afterwards. The significance of the Handbook was shared among the participants to protect maternal and fetal health and reduce the infant mortality rate and to safeguard the health of mothers and children in Japan.
* Seminars and symposiums
Various seminars and symposiums were organized by the Japanese government, local governments, international organizations, and the private sector to provide opportunities for the participants to access diverse information on Africa and exchange views.
There was consensus that African economies are making steady growth. Challenges include not only how to accelerate growth but also how to translate economic growth into development and poverty alleviation.
African countries agreed that peace and good governance, respect for human rights, and the rule of law are prerequisites for sustainable growth.
African countries reminded the Conference of the profound connection between growth and such continent-wide issues as infectious diseases and other health challenges, education and human resource development, spiraling food and fuel prices, and climate change and other environmental issues. At the same time, delegates emphasized the need to avoid a "one-size-fits-all" approach, in recognition of the diversity of the continent.
The necessity of giving appropriate attention to the specific needs of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and post-conflict counties was highlighted.
There was agreement that technology transfer should be promoted, public-private partnerships encouraged, and private sector entrepreneurship supported. African representatives pointed out the importance of sharing Asia's successful experiences and enhancing South-South and triangular cooperation.
Many African countries cited the development of road networks, ports, electricity networks, and other infrastructure as critical to economic integration and the promotion of trade and investment in Africa, and Japan's new initiatives in these areas were enthusiastically welcomed. The expansion of access to ICT was also mentioned as an issue that must not be ignored.
Participants reconfirmed the importance of pro-poor infrastructure development and active involvement of the private sector. The maintenance of infrastructure was also considered as critical for sustainable development. Participants highlighted that processes for obtaining financing for infrastructure from multilateral institutions need to be quicker and more flexible.
* Trade, Investment and Tourism
African representatives emphasized the private sector's critical role in growth, including diversifying the economy and making key investments that will ensure sustained economic growth. Enhanced public-private partnerships were urged in order to build confidence and lead to increased domestic and international private investment. Japan's initiative to start the JBIC Facility for African Investment to promote private investment in Africa was highly appreciated.
Participants highlighted the need for "added value" of agricultural products and natural resources, particularly in light of linkages to diversified employment opportunities.
Participants emphasized the importance of trade in bolstering Africa's economic growth and reducing poverty. They also expressed their expectations for the early, fair and balanced conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).
Other representatives called on the international community to pay attention to middle-income countries, especially in setting conditions for concessional loans.
The Africa Symposium was held by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in order to stimulate interest among Japanese companies in conducting business in Africa. The African Fair 2008 was also organized by JETRO to exhibit African products and attract the interest of consumers and the private sector to expand the exportation of African products to Japan.
* Agriculture and Rural Development
The Conference noted that growth of the agricultural sector in Africa and rural reform measures were vital for economic growth and food security, and would contribute to poverty reduction. Since more than two-thirds of African people reside in rural areas and rely on agriculture for their income and livelihood, the sector is important for economic growth.
Many African countries as well as Japan and other development partners emphasized the importance of tackling the acute problem caused by recent sharp increases in food prices and its adverse effects on poverty. The conference also noted that bio-fuel production should be compatible with food security. The participants welcomed Japan's initiative of emergency food assistance announced by Prime Minister Fukuda. Japan also expressed its intention to take up the issue of rising food prices at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, which was welcomed by the participants. Many participants underscored that the outcome of the discussions on this matter at TICAD IV should be taken to the FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy in Rome, Italy in June, 2008.
The World Bank, FAO, IFAD, and WFP organized the High-Level Panel Discussion on "Facing the Challenges and Opportunities of High Food Prices" on 29th May, 2008 to discuss responses to food crises and to mobilize financial support to address the problem.
The Conference noted that to improve food security, it is necessary for countries, especially those with low agricultural productivity, to increase agricultural production and productivity. In this regard, the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation, technology transfer for development of improved seeds, financial assistance to purchase fertilizers and organizing farmers' groups were highlighted.
Participants from African countries expressed their expectations for improving rural livelihoods and business opportunities through the promotion of high-value and niche crops, use of high-yielding seeds, and expansion of agri-business and agricultural processing. The importance of the transfer of innovative water resources management and irrigation to increase agricultural productivity was also underscored. The participants underlined that it was imperative for initiatives to enhance the economic empowerment of women in particular, as they are extensively involved in agriculture in Africa.
Participants welcomed Japanese initiatives such as the doubling of rice production in Africa, and they noted that New Rice for Africa (NERICA) is a good example of research and development.
The Conference valued the opportunities TICAD provides for making tangible and significant progress towards the MDGs and emphasized the importance of a participatory approach and sharing best practices. The objectives and specific targets of the TICAD process correspond strongly with the MDGs, which are clear, time-bound targets for key development priorities agreed on by the international community. Since this year is the mid-point to the MDGs, participants expressed their expectation for MDG-related issues to be discussed at the G-8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit.
Participants noted the need to facilitate access to financing, provide debt relief, and improve agricultural productivity and take into account measures to address unemployment and the brain drain. The Millennium Villages project was mentioned as providing good models for rural African communities to lift themselves out of extreme poverty and make progress towards achievement of the MDGs.
The Conference underscored that community involvement is key in delivering basic educational and health services and that priority should be placed on expanding communities' abilities to deliver such services. The importance of the "One Village, One Product" initiative was emphasized to promote decentralized rural development, and the empowerment of women and inclusion of the urban poor should be an integral part of community-based development.
The Conference emphasized the need for African countries to expand access to basic education while simultaneously improving educational quality in order to achieve Education for All (EFA) and the related MDG 2 and develop the human resources necessary for growth and sustainable socio-economic development. The importance of achieving gender equality in this regard was also highlighted. Participants emphasized school construction/rehabilitation, human resources, and access to sufficient and suitable teaching/learning materials as major challenges for improving basic education in Africa, especially in rural areas, and welcomed the initiatives to address these areas announced by the Japanese Government.
Participants from African countries stressed their hopes to expand vocational education and training to enable more youth to acquire needed skills for job readiness and to improve technical and vocational education for business and entrepreneurship in order to promote economic development. They emphasized the importance of post-basic education and higher education/research with due attention to science and technology.
There was general agreement and recognition that political leadership, a multisectoral approach and further international and national resources are required for achieving the MDGs. Many participants also underscored that a more results- oriented approach needs to be taken and a system under African countries' ownership to evaluate health-related performance be established.
There were also suggestions that it is time to reconsider the current cooperation among African countries, development partners and civil society organizations in order to tackle health-related issues in a more efficient manner.
Participants from African countries stressed their renewed commitment to prioritize and address health-related challenges, particularly in light of high maternal and under-five mortality rates and the prevalence of infectious diseases. They stressed that addressing the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria must be an ongoing priority.
Participants noted that well-balanced and comprehensive approaches would be necessary to strengthen health systems. Emphasizing that health systems must urgently address the training and retention of health workers, the participants called on the international community for greater attention to this issue.
* Consolidation of Peace
The Conference highlighted Africa's significant progress in advancing peace in recent years and cited this positive trend as a foundation for development that should be reinforced. Participants recognized the importance of ensuring the peace dividends reach the entire population.
African ownership and the AU's initiative in ensuring the security of the continent were welcomed by the participants.
The Conference underscored the importance of providing seamless support from the earliest stage of post-conflict reconstruction, covering a wide range of peacebuilding measures.
The Conference highly valued the vital support for these measures provided through the TICAD process and urged development partners to continue their support. It also welcomed the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission.
Participants emphasized that not only assistance for post-conflict reconstruction, but also conflict prevention and risk management to minimize the effects of conflict, was needed.
Participants emphasized the importance of civil society in peacebuilding efforts and stressed the necessity of addressing youth unemployment to prevent the relapse of conflicts.
In order to bring about peace and sustainable development, proactive conflict prevention could be more effective than simply reacting to the conflicts themselves. Participants recommended a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention by African countries and the international community.
* Good Governance
The Conference welcomed progress in improving governance in many African countries. The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was recognized as a successful AU/NEPAD and Africa-owned initiative. The significant support provided by UNDP to the APRM was welcomed. Participants cited capacity building in executive, legislative, judicial, public administration and electoral institutions as an ongoing priority. The protection of human rights was also highlighted.
3. Addressing Environmental Issues and Climate Change
The Conference highlighted the necessity of assisting African countries in view of their vulnerability and relatively limited capacity to address the negative impact of climate change. It was also highlighted that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change even though it contributes the least to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. There was a general consensus that action is needed now, and resources sought through new and innovative means while using existing mechanisms.
Participants also indicated the importance of promoting development and environmental protection in a compatible way, emphasizing the necessity of incorporating sustainable development into national development policies. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was recognized as effective in raising awareness.
* Mitigation and Adaptation
There was consensus that climate change poses one of the greatest risks to the environment in Africa. It affects the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, and threatens decades of socio-economic development efforts on the continent.
Participants highlighed that Africa needs enhanced access to clean and affordable energy through use of appropriate technology in order to promote economic development and improve the quality of life. It was also recognized that energy deficits in poor communities must be addressed.
Many African leaders highlighted the critical roles of forests in mitigating and adapting to climate change, conserving biodiversity and enhancing rural development. Participants shared the urgent need for concrete actions to curb deforestation and forest degradation as well as to promote afforestation through the provision of necessary funding and the application of sustainable management to forests, notably those in the Congo Basin.
Some African countries shared information about mitigation initiatives such as a sea level rise program, national adaptation plans, afforestation and desertification programs, and forest conservation funds.
The necessity to improve the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol was also indicated.
Participants emphasized the critical role of such preventive mechanisms as early warning systems against natural disasters in protecting the most vulnerable populations.
The Conference appreciated the "Cool Earth Promotion Programme," announced by Japan in January 2008, with the aim of encouraging active participation by all countries in an effective framework to fight climate change beyond the Kyoto Protocol. African countries, attaching importance to reducing GHG emissions while pursuing economic growth, responded positively to Japan's invitation to the "Cool Earth Partnership". In recognition of this, the Conference welcomed the establishment of Japan-Africa Cool Earth Partnership.
* Water and Sanitation
Access to safe water was cited as a priority for African countries. The need to ensure adequate water supplies for household, industrial and agricultural use was re-emphasized.
Some participants introduced their initiatives and activities on water and sanitation, including cyclic water resources management, water harvesting and water governance.
Participants recognized the role of forests clearly as critical reservoirs of water resources in this continent.
The importance of gender perspective in discussing water and sanitation was highlighted as collecting drinking water, engaging in agricultural work and securing foods are generally done by women in many countries.
The Conference endorsed efforts to widen strategic partnerships for African development, including the active engagement of emerging industrialized nations, which can play an important role in South-South and triangular cooperation.
The upcoming Africa Asia Business Forum was welcomed to promote specific business matches between Asian and African private enterprises within the context of Asia-Africa Cooperation.
The Asia-Africa Symposium organized by JICA highlighted, in particular, the role of the government vis-à-vis the market in promoting sustained and accelerated growth through participatory and inclusive processes, and the relevance of Asian experiences.
* Intra-Africa Cooperation
Support was expressed for recent progress towards regional integration in Africa, strengthened by the efforts of the AU and Regional Economic Organizations, and for concrete measures for enhanced trade and investment. Participants welcomed the AU and NEPAD as positive forces for development.
Participants endorsed the role of intra- and inter-regional partnerships and networks to share knowledge and experiences and to facilitate the transfer of best practices and technology.
* Public-Private Partnership
Participants encouraged greater cooperation between the public and private sectors. Japan's initiatives to send public-private joint missions, to promote Japanese investment in Africa and to enhance exportation of African products to the Japanese market were welcomed.
* "African Development Frontiers"
The contributions by notable individuals who are willing to play a constructive role as catalysts for change and to attract the attention of the public to African development were welcomed.
* Dialogue with Civil Society
Participants recognized the importance of civil society and encouraged the active involvement of civil society in TICAD activities including the symposium "Dialogue with Civil Society for African Development" and its feedback at a plenary session.
TICAD IV participants welcomed the Yokohama Declaration and the forward-looking and action-oriented Yokohama Action Plan that introduced a range of initiatives under each priority area. They also welcomed the establishment of a TICAD Follow-Up Mechanism to ensure regular monitoring of the implementation process in response to the request of African leaders.
There was agreement among participants that the 15 years of the TICAD process have resulted in a number of achievements for African development, providing a strong foundation for the initiatives contained in the Yokohama Action Plan. The TICAD process has also seen an evolution towards greater African ownership of its development, stronger cooperation between TICAD and the AU/NEPAD, as well as an expansion of strategic partnerships, including Asia-Africa cooperation, with the private sector and civil society. The TICAD process has also proven to be an important vehicle for advancing progress towards the achievement of the MDGs.
Closing remarks were delivered by H.E. Mr. John Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana, on behalf of the participants. Throughout the Conference, participants expressed appreciation for the co-organizers' (UNOSAA, UNDP and World Bank) efforts and Japan's continued commitment to the TICAD process and for the warm hospitality shown by the city of Yokohama, the people and the Government of Japan.
The Participants welcomed the intention of the Government of Japan to take advantage of its position as the chair of the G8 to reflect the outcome of TICAD IV at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit scheduled from 7 to 9 July, 2008.