A 40-member delegation of Japanese investors paid a courtesy call on the African Development Bank Group in Abidjan on Monday, March 21, 2016, and met with AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina. The meeting focused on further strengthening AfDB-Japan cooperation in the public sector as well as promotion of Japanese business and private investments in Africa.
The AfDB and Japan agreed to give an impetus to cooperation and building a transformative partnership that would stimulate large-scale private sector investments in Africa and provide opportunities for constructing quality infrastructure in the region, with energy as a key priority for the continent’s development.
Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Seiji Kihara, led the delegation. He described the meeting as a wonderful opportunity and expressed his country’s interest to help boost Africa’s economy through private sector investment. “The Government of Japan will continue to promote investments by its private sector to Africa, which we believe will contribute to job creation, human development, industrialization and value addition of supply chain. It even brings a good work ethic for workers,” Kihara said.
President Adesina recognized the relevance of AfDB’s partnership with the country and said he was glad to meet with a wide representation of Japanese investors. “Africa is the place to invest. The opportunities are limitless. We need to work together for co-development,” he said, underscoring Japan’s prominent role.
Africa needs at least US $50 billion to address its energy needs over the next five years. Touching on how to mobilize such large-scale resources, the President identified three areas for government initiative: increasing the share of energy investment as a percentage of GDP, improving tax collection and reducing illicit capital flows.
The President also highlighted the Bank’s deep appreciation for Japan’s continuous support to the African Development Fund (ADF), the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as the co-financing and direct funding provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Japan under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative, expected to reach a cumulative US $3 billion this year since the launch of EPSA over ten years ago at the Gleneagles G8 Summit.