アフリカ会議 日本の顔見える支援拡大せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 3, 2013
TICAD 5: Opportunity to expand Africa aid that shows Japanese flag
アフリカ会議 日本の顔見える支援拡大せよ(6月2日付・読売社説)

The fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 5), a summit meeting of Japanese and African leaders, began Saturday in Yokohama. It is a wonderful opportunity for Japan to strengthen its partnership with Africa, an emerging continent.

The conference is held every five years, and representatives from 51 of Africa’s 54 countries are attending TICAD 5.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the meeting that Japan and Africa have become partners who are helping each other grow. He also pledged to provide Africa with up to 3.2 trillion yen in aid from the private and public sectors over the next five years. The amount will include 1.4 trillion yen in official development assistance, the prime minister said.

A wealth of resources

Africa is rich in natural resources, and its annual growth rate remains high at 5 percent or more. The continent has a population of about 1 billion and is a promising market in which the number of middle-income people is increasing.

However, electricity shortages remain a serious problem in Africa, and underdeveloped infrastructure such as roads, ports and railways is also a challenge.

Africa has high expectations of Japan. We agree with the government’s plan to expand aid and investment for Africa in cooperation with trading houses, manufacturers and other private companies.

The growth strategy of Abenomics will be boosted if Japan can promote development of natural resources in Africa such as natural gas, which are essential for the country, and speed up the export of infrastructure to African countries.

Be wary of China’s moves

However, Japan must be cautious about China’s moves on the African continent, where it is stepping up its presence.

Beijing has been sending its leaders to African countries one after another and rapidly increasing loans and investment on the continent.

China last year announced it would extend a total of 20 billion dollars in loans to African nations over three years, but the reality on the ground is not clear. We cannot ignore China’s policy toward Africa, which is noticeably aimed at monopolizing natural resources there while focusing only on China’s own interests.

Abe pledged at the conference to visit Africa as soon as possible. We think it is appropriate for the prime minister to lead Japan’s policy for Africa to vie with Beijing.

It is important for Japan to help Africa become more self-reliant and to build a mutually beneficial friendship with it through aid that shows the Japanese flag.

Africa is still suffering from poverty and diseases such as AIDS. Japan should help Africans boost their agricultural productivity to alleviate poverty by teaching them Japanese skills to grow more rice.

The government should take strategy measures to help Africa that only Japan can do, by making effective use of its ODA. Such measures include supporting human resource development programs by helping 30,000 people find jobs and promoting transfer of technology.

In Algeria, a hostage crisis involving Japanese nationals took place in January, and security continues to deteriorate in some parts of Africa. We think the governments of African countries should take the initiative in developing an environment in which Japanese companies will find it easy to invest.

The government should not forget that it is significant for Japan, which aims to reform the U.N. Security Council, to expand the foundations of its diplomacy in a way that will redound to the country’s benefit as it enhances its ties with African nations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 2, 2013)
(2013年6月2日02時23分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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