Kenya will host the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Summit this week.
The summit begins on August 27th and 28th 2016 will have three main themes: promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialization, promotion of resilient health systems for quality of life and promotion of social stability.
This will be the first time TICAD is being held in Africa since its inception in 1993.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will open the event, alongside Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.
Kenya is optimistic about the TICAD that is projected to have an estimated 10,000 delegates – 6,000 Africans and 4,000 Japanese seeking to showcase business opportunities in their respective countries.
“Japan has many projects in Kenya and the continent. This conference is a game-changer for Kenya as some of the outstanding undertakings are there for everyone to see. The Olkaria project, sponsored programmes at Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT), expansion of Mombasa Port among others,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said on Friday at the official handing over ceremony of the key to KICC by Tourism CS Najib Balala and witnessed by among others Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma and KICC acting Managing Director Nana Gechaga.
“We expect immediate economic benefit of hosting this event to double that of the recent 14th United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),” she added.
For instance,Kenya has received US$ 4.28 million (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) for peace training centers from the Japan during the period under the six outcome targets under Pillar VI of the Yokohama Action Plan 2013-2017.
The implementation of TICAD V Six Pillar Action Plan, include: boosting economic growth, accelerating infrastructure and capacity development, empowering farmers as mainstream economic actors, promoting sustainable and resilient growth, creating inclusive society for growth, and consolidating peace, stability, democracy and good governance.
“Nobody will doubt our capacity to host any meeting that can be held around the world after this Summit,” Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Mwangi Kiunjuri told reporters in Nairobi on Thursday.
The TICAD Summit comprises 73 different sessions to discuss matters of trade between Africa and Japan.
“There are 60 Memorandum of Understanding to be signed during the forum,” Mohamed said when asked about the potential benefits the African business leaders were likely to obtain from the Summit.
Japan and other TICAD co-organisers, including the AU, the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa, the UN Development Programme and the World Bank, are expected to meet to discuss economic growth, trade and investment as well as sustainable development.
The decision to host TICAD VI Summit in Africa was reached during the TICAD V Summit in 2013 when it was agreed that the venue of subsequent TICAD Summits be alternated between Japan and Africa. The interval of summit Meetings was also shortened from every 5 years to three (3) years.
“It is indeed a great honour and privilege for Kenya and Africa in general to host the first ever TICAD Summit in the continent. It is a major milestone and indeed a big boost towards achieving a more strategic partnership with Japan that we all desire,” the TICAD Website states. More importantly however, it underscores the spirit of partnership and ownership which underpinned the very principles of the formation of TICAD in 1993.
This year’s summit has been described as ‘a turning point in the TICAD framework’ as it will aim at coming up with new initiatives and efforts based on issues that have emerged in Africa during the three years since TICAD V.