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INCULCATE "AFRICA BEYOND AID" AGENDA INTO TICAD 7– FOREIGN MINISTER

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has said it is imperative the "Africa Beyond Aid" agenda is factored into the policies and programmes of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, (TICAD 7).

 

The Ghanaian Foreign Minister, who was in Tokyo to attend the Ministerial Meeting, ahead of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), urged organizers of TICAD to develop a strong policy that will see the "Africa Beyond Aid" agenda become a reality.

 

Speaking after addressing the Second Plenary of the two-day TICAD Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo on the topic; "Economic Transformation for Inclusive Growth", the Foreign Affairs Minister said, President Akufo-Addo's "Ghana Beyond Aid" agenda had catched up with his colleague Heads of State on the African continent.

 

President Akufo-Addo's vision, according to Ms. Botchwey, had influenced the bilateral and multi-lateral negotiations of African leaders with their development partners.

 

"Organizers and partners of TICAD, in setting the agenda for the upcoming multilateral forum must look beyond grants and loans for African countries and focus on how Japan can make available to Africa its technological know-how and intellectual properties in the manufacturing and electronic sectors for the rapid industrialization of the African continent", she stated.

 

Foreign Ministers from more than 45 African countries are currently in Tokyo to attend the Ministerial Meeting discussing the agenda for TICAD 7.

 

During the deliberations, the Foreign Minister and other Senior officials from Africa exchanged views on wide range of topics like infrastructure development, healthcare coverage, disaster prevention, and business investment.

 

Key also on the agenda is the need to ensure that TICAD 7 puts up quality infrastructure to make development more inclusive on the African continent.

 

The meeting is part of a Japan-led initiative to assist Africa to develop, amidst China's growing influence on the continent.

 

Japan's Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, in his opening address stressed the importance of quality infrastructure and said Japan seeks to engage Africa and Asia under its ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.’

 

“International assistance should be provided in accordance with international standards such as transparency, openness and economic efficiency,” Kono said at the meeting. “These principles are crucial components of Japan’s quality infrastructure initiative,” he added.

 

At the 2016 Tokyo International Conference on African Development meeting, Japan pledged $30 billion to Africa over a three-year period.

 

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)