TICAD IV Agrees on a Blueprint for African Development
30 May 2008: Representatives from 51 African countries, including 40 Heads of State and Government, joined Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda from 28-30 May 2008, in Yokohama, Japan, to develop a framework for African growth at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV).
The Conference addressed the theme “Towards a Vibrant Africa: a Continent of Hope and Opportunity,” and focused on three priorities: boosting African economic growth; ensuring human security, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the consolidation of peace and governance; and addressing environmental issues and climate change. During the session, Prime Minister Fukuda announced Japan's intention to double its official development assistance (ODA) to Africa by 2012, with up to US$4 billion dollars in ODA to finance infrastructure in African countries. TICAD IV concluded with the adoption of three elements: the Yokohama Declaration, which outlines guiding principles and approaches to African development; and the Yokohama Action Plan and Yokohama Follow-up Mechanism, which provide a road map of interventions needed and measurable targets.
Agricultural production and productivity vis-à-vis the current situation of high food prices was discussed, and measures for technology transfer related to the development of improved seeds, access to financial assistance to purchase fertilizers and the importance to organized farmers' groups were highlighted. There was a broad consensus on the risks of climate change to overall African development. The need to ensure affordable and clean energy and adequate technology to boost economic development was considered. The outcomes of TICAD IV are expected to feed into to the G8 Summit to be held in Hokkaido, from 7-9 July 2008. [UN Press release, 27 May 2008] [UN News Centre, 28 May 2007] [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, TICAD IV website]