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The challenges facing Africa shouldn’t be recognized with pessimism, but must be seen as investment opportunities, says the Head of the Africa Development Bank’s (AfDB) External Representative Office for Asia, Tadashi Yokoyama.
Speaking at the “Japan-AfDB Forum: Energy Access and Quality Infrastructure in Africa – Towards TICAD VI” at the AfDB Annual Meetings in Lusaka, Zambia, on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Yokoyama said the potential of Africa is enormous.
“But this potential must be tackled with speed and in an integrated manner; the challenges facing Africa must not be seen with pessimism, but should be seen as opportunities for us to invest in innovations and new technologies to uplift the livelihoods of people,” he said.
Yokoyama said Africa can learn a lot from the expertise of the people of Japan.
“This way the continent [Africa] will move forward through developing own solutions that will address the challenges being faced,” he said.
At the same event, AfDB’s Director for Private Sector Operations, Kodeija Diallo, said underscored the importance of the Bank’s relationship with Japan.
“AfDB has been working with the Japanese in areas of technical assistance in various projects across the continent. As a Bank, we are implementing the High 5s by scaling up infrastructure and the process of industrialization, hence the need for stronger partnerships with cooperating partners,” she said.
Earlier, Japanese businesses pledged commitment for infrastructure development in Africa.
Marubeni Corporation Regional Chief Operating Officer for Africa Takashi Yao said the African continent is a priority and very important emerging market.
“We are ready to invest in Africa and establish partnerships with business community of the continent. We have to grow together and Japanese private companies have high potential to contribute to the growth of Africa,” he said.