Event to Boost Japan-Africa Exchanges Starts in Kobe

Jiji Press
Kobe Deputy Mayor Masao Imanishi, third from right, cuts a tape to mark the start of Afrika meets Kansai 2023 event in Chuo Ward, Kobe, on Saturday.

KOBE (Jiji Press) — An event to boost cultural and economic exchanges between Japan and African countries kicked off in Kobe on Saturday.

“We want many Japanese people to know real Africa,” Masao Imanishi, deputy mayor of the Hyogo Prefecture capital, said in a function held at the start of the event, “Afrika meets Kansai 2023,” which was also attended by officials from embassies of African countries in Japan.

During the event, set to run until Nov. 12, African food and culture will be introduced.

On Friday, a contest for business plans useful in solving social issues in Africa will take place as Japan aims to increase business opportunities in Africa, whose economy is expected to grow in the future.

Kobe places weight on relations with Africa. As part of the efforts, the city signed in 2018 a memorandum of understanding with Rwanda’s Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology and Innovation on the promotion of cooperation in the ICT sector.

Through the Afrika meets Kansai 2023 event, the city hopes to deepen relations with Africa and boost momentum for exchanges ahead of the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka and the Ninth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 9) to be held in Yokohama in 2025.