Japanese Prime Minister Yasao Fakuda has pledged to doub le international assistance to Africa and bolster direct investments in Africa’s
industrial sector through increased financial assistance and participation of Ja p anese private enterprise.
The Japanese Premier, who held talks with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki Tuesday a head of an international conference on Africa’s economic prosperity, said Japan w as on the verge of forming an international development bank to spearhead privat e investments in Africa.
Japan is hosting 40 African leaders for a Summit under the auspices of the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD), holding its fourth se s sion this week.
The Japanese Premier informed the President Kibaki that his government would do uble its overseas development assistance to Africa by 2012 and establish the Jap a nese bank for International Cooperation facility for African Investment in order
to double the direct investment from the Japanese private sector to Africa.
President Kibaki asked the Japanese Government to consider expanding the duty fr ee and quota free market access currently granted to products originating from l e ast developed countries to enable other developing countries such as Kenya to be n efit.
“The balance of trade, which is heavily in favour of Japan, remains a major chal lenge for our two governments and we need to find ways of reversing the trend,” t he President said.
At the talks in Yokohama city, discussions on enhancing security, addressing the current food shortages and doubling Africa’s rice production will be given top p riority.
President Kibaki also held talks with the Japanese officials on increasing finan cial aid to Kenya to improve the roads infrastructure in Nairobi, create road li n k and modernise the ports.
Kenya is on course to implement the vision 2030, which aims at making the countr y a rapidly industrialising middle income nation.
“The realisation of the intended objectives requires the cooperation of our deve lopment partners,” President Kibaki said.
The water supply systems will include smallholder irrigation schemes that aim at increasing food production in the rural areas.
To increase food production and enhance national food security, Kenya has also m ade an appeal for increased funding for the importation of fertilisers.
And in addition to the humanitarian assistance of 1.4 billion shillings extended to deal with post-election challenges, the government of Japan will provide fur t her food assistance of 700 million yen for internally displaced persons.
During the bilateral talks, President Kibaki expressed appreciation on behalf of the government and people of Kenya to the Japanese government for accepting to f und the modernisation of the Mombasa Port Container Terminal at a cost of US$ 25 5 million through a concessional loan.
“The modernisation of the port of Mombasa will not only speed-up the movement of goods in the country, but also boost regional trade,” President Kibaki told the
President Kibaki commended Japan for its commitment to African development throu gh the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) initiative.
On Wednesday, President Kibaki is expected to address the TICAD conference durin g the official opening ceremony