TICAD8: Start-ups biggest beneficiaries as Tunis welcomes delegations

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Tunisia is hosting the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), where 20 African heads of state and government are in attendance.

The delegation is hosted the president of the Republic of Tunisia, Kassas Saed, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida.

  • During TICAD8, the two-day conference that began on Saturday, August 27 at the Convention Palace in Tunis, is planned to pinpoint strategies for fostering resilience as well as inclusiveness and abundance in Africa
  • The major event aims to promote high-level political discussion between African leaders and development partners while also mobilizing support for Africa’s initiatives
  • During the TICAD 8 business forum on Saturday afternoon, about 50 significant Japanese companies participated, represented by 100 business managers and executive directors

Several other stakeholders, in addition to the heads of state, are in attendance, including 66 official delegations (FMs, ministers of economics and trade, and diplomatic corps) from 48 different countries and 120 media, regional and international media organizations and civil society.

TICAD8 is the eighth edition since the first TICAD conference, which took place in Tokyo on October 5 and 6, 1993.

The latest edition is being held under very challenging times since the world is just coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic while also still having to deal with other difficulties occasioned by global warming, the current situation in Ukraine and the ever-evolving market demands driven by the changing landscape of the different countries economies.

Read: ADF and Japan sign a $668.1m loan to finance Africa’s low-income countries

During TICAD8, the two-day conference that began on Saturday, August 27 at the Convention Palace in Tunis, is planned to pinpoint strategies for fostering resilience as well as inclusiveness and abundance in Africa.

The major event aims to promote high-level political discussion between African leaders and development partners while also mobilizing support for Africa’s initiatives.

During the TICAD 8 business forum on Saturday afternoon, about 50 significant Japanese companies participated, represented by 100 business managers and executive directors. There were also 300 businessmen in attendance, including 100 from Tunisia, 100 from Africa, and 10 from Japan.

Leaders at TICAD8 in Tunisia. 20 African heads of state and government are in attendance, hosted by Tunisia President Kassas Saed. [Photo/TICAD8]
At the forum, Prime Minister Kishida- via video conference- said that Africa and Japan are working together to ensure that their partnerships are productive and beneficial to all.

He said that his hope was for the forum to inspire enthusiasm for further investment in Africa.

PM Kishida called on participants at the forum to serve as bridges between Japan and Africa by promoting businesses and services by investing in goods and services, human resources and business ideas to enhance bilateral relations.

The PM added that Japanese entrepreneurs had invested in human resources and technology transfer to Africa, winning trust in Africa over a long time. Due to the success of these investments, he said that Japanese entrepreneurs are seeking more opportunities on the continent.

Africa’s population is the second fastest growing globally after Asia, with projections that it will double by 2050. This growth offers lucrative investment opportunities but will favour those willing to tap them by offering solutions to the ever-changing challenges facing Africans.

According to PM Kishida, Japan will support businesses in Africa by backing start-ups, green investments and other investments that foster human resources. From his sentiments, social enterprises are the biggest beneficiaries already going by the PM’s commitments on the first day of TICAD8.

The PM added that they will be training human resources over the 3 years towards achieving their set goals of empowering businesses under the Africa-Japan partnership aegis.

Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressing the delegations at TICAD8. Start-ups and social enterprises are the biggest beneficiaries as indicated by his opening remarks. [Photo/TICAD8]
He said 33 MoUs would be announced in the course of the forum, where there are more than ninety MoUs across various investment sectors.

During this edition, the Tunisian private sector will offer 81 investment projects totalling US$2.7 billion dollars to investors from Africa and Japan. 37,750 employment opportunities will be created by the initiatives listed in a white paper by the Tunisian-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCITJ).

The 128-page white paper includes proposed projects by firms. This is in addition to new projects and those that are already in place and looking for possible partners. These initiatives will be carried out as a result of a triangular relationship between Japan, Tunisia, and other African nations in fields with a high added value.

Some of these projects include 21 in the green and blue economy, the digital industry, artificial intelligence and space technologies (20), pharmaceutical and medical (17), industrial (12), infrastructure and logistics (9) and two in finance.

Read: World: Japan to invest US$42 billion in India to boost economic ties

I have 10 years of experience in multimedia journalism and I use the skills I have gained over this time to meet and ensure goal-surpassing editorial performance. Africa is my business and development on the continent is my heartbeat. Do you have a development story that has to be told? Reach me at njenga.h@theexchange.africa and we can showcase Africa together.

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