TICAD 2017 Ministerial Meeting, 24-25 August 2017, held in Maputo, MozambiqueAug 28, 2017
Ministers, deputy ministers, diplomats, representatives of multilateral institutions, entrepreneurs, among other personalities from Africa and across the world, packed the hall that hosted the Ministerial Meeting of the Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development (TICAD) held in Maputo, August 24 -25, 2017.
Speaking at the TICAD opening ceremony, Mozambique President, Filipe Nyusi, told the audience that the meeting was taking place at a time when the global and the African economies are experiencing some deceleration. At the same, optimism and right policies are creating an environment for investment in the African continent. This provides an opportunity for investment in infrastructures and human capital. "For our countries, this is the time to take advantage of this momentum and increase investments in infrastructure and human capital. This is a key factor in accelerating sustainable and inclusive economic growth, which is essential for the creation of well-being. "
In a brief overview of Mozambique’s economic scenario, the President reminded those present that the country also registered a deceleration of Gross Domestic Product (GDP - value of all goods and services produced in the economy) from 6.6 to 3.8% from 2015 to 2016, while inflation increased from 3.6 to 19.6% over the same period. At the same time, he expressed optimism about his country’s economic prospects saying "thanks to the commitment of Mozambicans, cooperation with development partners such as Japan and others, and the invaluable collaboration of African countries, we have seen improvements in the country's macroeconomic situation, projecting GDP growth of around 4.7% in 2017".
Filipe Nyusi highlighted the fact that TICAD, from a simple advocacy forum for Africa, has now become a partnership instrument between African countries and Japan, which includes, inter alia, the promotion of peace and stability; the development of infrastructures to enable interconnection; the development of agriculture, to ensure food and nutritional security, as well as to feed our industries and increase exports; industrialization, which adds value to the natural resources that our countries have, the development of human capital, to increase efficiency and productivity; as well as the transfer of technology and knowledge.
Mozambique President also stressed that TICAD is in line with the Africa Development Agenda 2063, with the Infrastructure Development Program for Africa, the Broad Program for the Development of Agriculture in Africa, the Accelerated Industrial Development Program of Africa, among others.
Africa must diversify the economy
Diversifying the economy is an imperative that has already been presented in forums for debate on the economies of Africa. For the President, "Africa cannot continue to mortgage its growth and economic development to limited sources of income that depend exclusively on natural resources that it has in its primary form", because they are exhaustible resources and because they are sensitive to the dynamics arising from the global economy. The Head of State therefore advocates that the most effective way of harnessing natural resources is to promote more integrated cooperation and added value to the productive structure through diversification of the economy. Under TICAD, the private sector can play an important role in the process of implementing investment projects that ensure technological development, including the transfer of knowledge.
To maximize revenues, we should ensure transparency and consistency of our activities, so that we fully meet our commitments. “I consider our responsibility as indispensable to the steps that we have been taking. The opportunity that Africa embraces is clear, but the question is: how can we work together to realize the aspirations of the African continent reflected in the 2063?” posed the President.
TICAD is the vehicle of Japanese diplomacy for Africa
Japan launched the TICAD in 1993 to refocus international attention on the importance and urgency of African development issues as well as to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.
TICAD is a Summit meeting of African development, co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSAA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the World Bank. Stakeholders include all African countries and development partners. The main objectives of TICAD are: to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and their partners and to mobilize support for African-owned development initiatives.
Since its inception, TICAD has provided fundamental and comprehensive policy guidelines on African development. TICAD has evolved into a major global framework to facilitate the implementation of initiatives for promoting African development under the dual principle of African “ownership” and international “partnership”. A central feature of this framework is the cooperation between Asia and Africa in promoting Africa’s development.
Over the years, TICAD’s quality has also evolved both in complexity and value. Emphasis has shifted from TICAD’s relatively simple issues of direct aid to more multi-faceted and inter-related themes which combine growth and sustainable development.