Museveni Addresses TICAD As Japan Pledges $32bn To Africa

online dosage geneva;”>The three-day TICAD Forum which, for the last twenty years, has been a major framework in which Japan collaborates with the African governments in finding solutions and ways of enhancing development in Africa, was opened this morning by the Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe in the Japanese City of Yokohama.

It was at this occasion that he announced that Japan will extend to Africa 3.2 trillion Yen ($32 billion} in aid to Africa for the coming 5 years.

This year’s TICAD Conference is running under the theme “Hand in Hand with a More Dynamic Africa”.

The 5-tier event is co-hosted by the Government of Japan, the United Nations, The African Union Commission, the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank.

Addressing participants during the opening session on how to develop a “robust and sustainable economy’’ President Museveni said that it was not possible to develop a robust and sustainable economy in Africa if the continent does not solve the strategic problems that have hindered her development overtime.


He highlighted an undeveloped human resource that is both unskilled and unhealthy, the lack of respect for the private sector by the political leaders and technocrats, inadequate development infrastructure such as roads, railways, the water way, electricity and ICT as well as a small market caused by the numerous artificial borders created by the colonialists.

He further cited the exporting of raw materials due to lack of industries, an undeveloped service sector, an undeveloped agricultural sector that is engaged in traditional subsistence agriculture and the lack of peace and democracy in some countries as some of the issues that need to be given urgent attention by the African countries and their development partners if the continent is to be economically transformed and have a robust economy that is self sustaining.

Mr. Museveni on Saturday said Uganda was working towards solving these bottlenecks. He noted that the country had introduced free education at primary and secondary school levels and tertiary sector to enrich its human resource; liberalized the economy and focused on the private sector led growth and endeavoured to raise domestic revenue to fund development infrastructure than relying on foreign funding.

On inadequate markets, he said that Uganda and her neighbouring countries were solving this through integrating markets as well as lobbying for tax and quota free markets in all continents and said that Uganda had embarked on attracting investors in the service sector especially tourism, which is generally untapped and has great potential.

He, however, expressed optimism that the African continent would develop beyond all odds noting that after emerging from slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism, the Africans have begun consuming which, he said, accounts for the big demand for several goods in the continent like steel. He said that any business minded person should support and invest in Africa because it’s the continent of the future.

While announcing the aid to Africa, the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, said that the aid to Africa will go to the areas of development. He said that these will include infrastructural development, human resource development that will see 1,000 students from Africa get scholarships to study in Japan every year for five years, health promotion with a target of having universal health coverage, agriculture and food security and the promotion of peace and stability in Africa.

He said the cooperation between Japan and Africa has gone beyond partnership to co-management and said that the aid Japan is giving to Africa will be spent by the African governments according to their set priorities and their planning.

The African Union (AU) Chairman, who is also the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, commended the outstanding contribution of TICAD to African development, noting the cooperation came at a time when the continent was much marginalized and needed that support than ever before. He said that as current Chairman of the AU, he will work to ensure that the TICAD programmes in Africa are a success.

The UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon said that the TICAD agenda in Africa is in line with the UN agenda on the continent. He commended Japan for the initiative.

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