Zim scores big at Ticad 7 – President Mnangagwa

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Yokohama, Japan (New Ziana)- Zimbabwe benefited immensely from participating at the just ended seventh edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad) in Japan, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Friday.

He listed, among the benefits, fresh financial support the country
secured at the conference, and partnerships forged with other countries, international companies and bodies.

Ticad 7 ended in the city Yokohama, with the adoption of the Yokohama Declaration and the Yokohama Plan of Action, amid pledges by the Japanese government and African Union (AU) member states to further deepen cooperation.

The forum, which is co-organised by the United Nations, AU, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, ran under the theme, “Advancing Africa’s development through people, technology and innovation.”

Over 110 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed between 37
Japanese companies, five organizations and 26 African countries during the summit, with President Mnangagwa having been honoured to represent Africa during the signing ceremonies.

President Mnangagwa, who participated at Ticad for the first time as
Head of State, had a full bouquet of back to back meetings with African leaders, heads of private companies, hosts Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe and Emperor Naruhito during his time in Japan.

At the opening of the conference, President Mnangagwa got a chance to update thousands of delegates at the conference on progress his
administration had so far made in opening up the country for business through implementation of wide ranging reforms.

“Besides the normal business of Ticad, there were a lot of meetings that we held with other leaders from Africa but more importantly, with Japan itself,” President Mnangagwa, said reflecting on his participation at the summit.

“I think it was critically important that Zimbabwe participated at Ticad. We are going to benefit from Ticad. There is an amount, an
initial (amount) of US$20 billion that has been put on the table by
Japan, with the prospects of that amount being increased and it is up to individual members states of the AU to put together projects, but for Zimbabwe we already have promises of support in various areas, in particular, agriculture.”

He said Japan had shown its willingness to partner and support Zimbabwe’s development efforts through grants for projects in
infrastructure development, agriculture, health, and transport among
other areas.

“All these things would not have come to us if we had not come here.
Because of our being here, we have been able to have many doors opened for us to exploit and take advantage of,” he said.

Host Prime Minister Abe said the Japanese private sector had met a
commitment made at the 2016 Ticad held in Kenya, having invested over US$20 billion in Africa in the last three years, while pledging to do more before the 2022 edition of the conference is held.

“Africa is truly the new frontier for business,” he said at a joint
closing press conference, urging Japanese private companies to explore the continent and ensure “Africa and Japan grow together.”

AU chairman, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt lauded the spirit of cooperation exhibited during Ticad 7 among stakeholdsers.

“The AU will continue cooperation and coordination with Japan and all organisers of Ticad in order to guarantee full implementation of summit outcomes to realise the hopes and ambitions of African people,” he said.

An African country, to be announced in due course, will host the next Ticad meeting in 2022, becoming the second after Kenya to do so.
New Ziana

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