Japan to pledge $5 bil. in aid for infrastructure development in Africa

Reuters file photo
People are seen on a street in Lagos, Nigeria, in August 2020.

The government has decided to provide as much as $5 billion (about ¥680 billion) in aid over three years from 2023 for the development of infrastructure in Africa such as ports and roads.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce the assistance in a virtual keynote address to the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), which kicks off in Tunisia on Saturday.

Kishida is expected to call for the use of Japanese funds in African countries burdened with heavy debt due to massive loans from China.

The agenda for the two-day conference will include the food crisis, which is worsening due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the strengthening of health care systems to deal with the novel coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

The prime minister is also expected to express his goal of boosting economic growth in Africa through investment in people, and will reveal plans for human resource development for about 300,000 Africans over three years, mainly in the fields of agriculture and health.

The government is coordinating online meetings with the leaders of the participating countries.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, who will attend TICAD8 as a special envoy of the prime minister, departed for Tunisia from Haneda Airport on Thursday

“We will work to help overcome Africa’s challenges, which will in turn lead to further growth for both Japan and Africa,” he told reporters before his departure.