Ownership and Partnership – AUDA, JICA and TICAD

Jennifer Chiriga, Towela Nyirenda Jere, Toshiyuki Nakamura, Ambassador Norio Maruyama, George Kararach and Ayodele Odusola

22 June 2022

A sense of belonging is the human factor central to advancing Africa’s integration was the consensus reached at the launch of the third edition of the One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) Sourcebook, a joint work between the African Union Development Agency - AUDA-NEPAD and Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA. The event held in Johannesburg, South Africa focused on Agenda 2063 for Africa’s development and cooperation with JICA, and looked forward to the 8th Tokyo International Conference for Africa’s Development – TICAD that is set to take place in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia on 27-28 August 2022.

Ownership and partnership will lead Africa’s trajectory to prosperity said Mr Norio Maruyama, Japan’s Ambassador to South Africa. He explained that TICAD was a platform for investment opportunities as the Japanese private sector is a key component of the development conference on Africa that began in 1993, the first of its kind. The involvement of international organisations as partners plays a vital role in guiding the economic progress to promote social cohesion and bring about peace and stability.

Mr Homma Minoru, JICA’s Chief Representative in South Africa introduced the esteemed panel to discuss ‘Towards TICAD8: Advancing Africa’s Economic Integration in the post crisis era’. Ms Jennifer Chiriga, Chief of Staff to the CEO at AUDA-NEPAD moderated the discussion.

The formation of the African Union (AU) was premised on the integration of the African continent which was arbitrarily divided by the colonialists at a conference in Berlin. The projects and programs like the Continental Free Trade Area - AfCTA are designed to advance and accelerate the integration process said Dr Towela Nyirenda Jere, Head of Economic Integration at AUDA-NEPAD. The logistic and infrastructure plans are meant to connect the 1.3 billion Africans and exponentially grow the combined GDP output.

The viral pandemic and conflict situation between Ukraine and Russia exposed the structural weakness of the continent’s economic dependency syndrome said Dr Ayodele Odusola, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities through sustainable development. TICAD presents a great opportunity for investment to add value to primary commodities that will lead to industrialisation, enterprise and innovation.

Building resilience, capable and strong institutions that deliver, correct incentives, fostering an environment of inclusion and cultural integration beyond the economic is how Dr George Kararach, Lead Economist at the African Development Bank, expressed his vision of how the continent will make progress.

Agreeing with the need for resilient economics, Mr Toshiyuki Nakamura, Senior Vice President of JICA said that a long term commitment will produce the necessary results eventually. There are 31 JICA offices throughout Africa supporting various initiatives for accelerated industrial development, increasing infrastructure and logistic capability, strengthening healthcare and medicine access, supporting upskilling and knowledge transfer and enhancing agriculture and farming. The OSBP will streamline trade, investment and tourism promotion and focus on productivity through the African Kaizen Initiative –AKI a system based on continuous improvement of production and quality.

K Bhana