The Tokyo International Conference on African Development was held two days ago in Nairobi, Kenya. One of the highlights of the event was when Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that his country plans to invest USD 20 Bn in Africa over the next three years, as it is interested in infrastructure and human development on the continent.
According to him, an additional USD 20 Bn will flow into Africa through investments from Japan’s private sector during the same period, he added.
Addressing African leaders convened at the conference in Yokohama; Abe emphasized that the Japanese government will put forth every possible effort so that the power of the nation’s private investments in the years to surpass the ones in the past. “We will do whatever it takes to assist the advancement of Japanese companies into Africa,” he added.
Japan, not new to African investments, plans to train 3,000 people over the next six years under a human resource development program for the continent. That means there will be more Africans enabled to contribute to the promotion of the Japan-Africa business relations. This is just part of the many the country has been doing for the past 30 years, focusing its efforts on providing economic aid to African countries.
In April, the country released USD 1.5 Mn to support community stabilization activities in Nigeria’s in the war-ridden northern region of Nigeria. In Kenya, Japan provides funding for a variety of skill acquisition and training centers across the country. After investing a cumulation of USD 880 Mn in Egypt too, the country wants a partnership that involves infrastructure and human resource development.
Japan and China are going head to head on African investments. According to the former’s ministry of foreign affairs, Japan has invested USD 20 Bn in the continent from 2016 to 2018. China, however, one of Africa’s largest investors, has more number on record. It’s investments in the continent surpass that of France, India, and the United States, as evident in railway, manufacturing and TV projects.
Per a report from the Japan External Trade Organization, Japan’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa for 2017 totaled USD 9 Bn, and that’s just a pinch of the USD 43 Bn pumped in by China in the same year. The volume of Chinese trade in Africa in 2018 was USD 204 Bn, according to China’s ministry of commerce. In the same year, Japan’s total import and export volume was USD 17 Bn.
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