Japan has pledged $30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion for the African continent. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, informed Africa of this pledge on Saturday.
Japan is a country that is resource-poor, and many believe Japan pledged the $30 billion dollars in order to gain the opportunity to tap Africa’s vast natural resources. This has become even more of a focus point for Japan after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut down almost of Japan’s nuclear reactors.
After Japan pledged the money, Abe, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to attend the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), stated that the pledge would be spread out over three years from this year, and include $10 billion for infrastructure projects, to be executed through cooperation with the African Development Bank.
“When combined with investment from the private sector, I expect that the total will amount to $30 billion. This is an investment that has faith in Africa’s future, an investment for Japan and Africa to grow together,” he told a gathering of more than 30 heads of state and government from across Africa.
The $30 billion announced on Saturday is in addition to another $32 billion that Japan pledged to Africa over a five-year period at the last TICARD meeting in 2013. Abe stated that sixty-seven percent of that amount had already been put to use in various projects across Africa.
“Today’s new pledges will enhance and further expand upon those launched three years ago. The motive is quality and enhancement,” he said.
Japan’s direct investment overall in Africa totaled $1.24 billion in 2015. Its presence in infrastructure projects ranges from roads, ports and airports to power plants.
China, Japan’s noted rival in Asia, made a single investment of $2 billion in the oil-rich Equatorial Guinea area in the month of April alone.
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