The Tokyo International Conference on African Development was established in 1993 in Tokyo to provided fundamental and comprehensive policy guidelines on African development and serve as the platform for mutual economic benefits between Japan and Africa.
The conference initially focused on discussing the many problems bedeviling the African continent, designing plans to fix those which included providing aid. But in recent times, TICAD has taken another form, serving instead as a market place of ideas.
This set the tone for the seventh edition of the TICAD in Yokohama, Japan, where between August 28th and 30th August 2019, more than twenty African leaders, representatives of international organisations and successful entrepreneurs rubbed minds over a three-year investment package and African leaders pitched their countries in the hopes of securing major investments from a league of recognised global institutions and investors.
And after it was all said and done, Nigeria came away with some on-the-spot benefits and several prospects of TICAD7 which would manifest after some time.
Ahead of the Summit, President Buhari had apprised Nigerians that his mission at TICAD7 was “to push for broader Japanese assistance in the areas of science and technology, innovation, human resource development, education, agriculture, power, health and disaster risk reduction, among others.”
And “push”, the President did, engaging with a variety of Japanese investors including the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, led by its Deputy Governor, Mr. Nobumitsu Hayashi as well as the Toyota Group.
TICAD7 offered to Nigeria, greater hope for more positive Japanese investments in the country with one of the on-the-spot benefits of the conference being the establishment of the Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council, an initiative of the Japanese government aimed at increasing trade and investment between Nigeria and Japan, launched on return to Nigeria after the conference.
Nigeria also secured a $300,000 support from the Japanese Prime Minister for the Nigerian Defence College and another $112,000 for the country’s energy and public health sectors.
On the sidelines of TICAD7, Nigeria and the European Union signed a EUR 50million MoU to support humanitarian and development efforts in the North-East region of the country. The MoU was signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama and EU Commissioner, Neven Mimica, bringing the total EU monetary support to Nigeria to €562million, since 2014.