Dakar (AFP) May 1, 2011
Tokyo will maintain all development aid to Africa despite pressing reconstruction costs at home, a Japanese government spokesman said Sunday at a development meeting with African ministers in Dakar.
Satoru Satoh said despite initial plans to cut back on foreign assistance, his country was "deeply touched" by an outpouring of support from African countries and had decided to maintain its commitments.
"After the earthquake and tsunami we had received a lot of warm and heart-felt sympathy and support from all over the world, including Africa. We used to support African development and this time Africa supported us," he said.
Many African countries sent donations to Japan, such as Algeria, Gabon, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Namibia, Botswana, Madagascar, Rwanda, Niger, Senegal, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo while South Africa sent rescue teams.
"In spite of the disaster Japan is committed to continue our contribution to the international community" and its contribution to peace, prosperity and development in Africa, Satoh said.
Under the Yokohama Action Plan, Japan had promised to double total development aid to Africa to $1.8 billion (1.2 billion euros) by 2012, however this was already exceeded in 2009 with $2.05 billion disbursed on the continent.
Japan also aimed to provide support to double Japan's private investment in Africa up to $3.4 billion in 2012, double rice production on the continent in a decade and spend some $10 billion in five years to fight climate change.
Over 32 ministers and other high-ranking government officials from 51 African countries are attending theDakar meeting, a follow-up to the five-yearly Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), last held in 2008.
Less than wo months after one of the most powerful earthquakes in history hit Japan on March 11, triggering a devastating tsunami and nuclear disaster, Tokyo decided not to cancel the TICAD meeting in a bid to show the world that it is open for business.
Over 13,000 were killed and 14,000 remain unaccounted for after the disasters.
Japan's parliament is currently considering an extra budget of $49 billion to fund reconstruction after the disasters.
Senegal's Prime Minister Souleymane Ndiaye said the decision to continue the two-day TICAD meeting showed Japan's "strong determination to abide by its commitments to Africa."
African ministers are expected to review progress made with the Yokohama Action Plan and discuss challenges to the continent's growth, peace and security issues and climate change.
Japan has contributed funds to the building of nine trans-African highways, has projects to increase rice production across the continent, is constructing classrooms and training teachers and improving hospitals and health centres on the continent.
The continent is recovering well from the global financial crisis, with growth likely to reach 5.2 percent in 2011, however high food and oil prices and political instability in parts of the continent threaten to derail progress.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
Diehard pro-Gbagbo militia begin to disarm
Abidjan (AFP) April 29, 2011
Diehard fighters loyal to Ivory Coast's deposed president Laurent Gbagbo began surrendering arms Friday to the forces of the country's new government. Around 50 fighters, members of a pro-Gbagbo militia group holed up in Abidjan's Yopougon district, gave up their rifles, rocket launchers and grenades to the troops of the country's new President Alassane Ouattara. "This ceremony marks the ... read more
Day of prayer as US south mourns tornado victims|
New material could improve safety for first responders to chemical hazards
Japan passes 4 trillion yen disaster relief budget
Japan PM on defensive over disaster leadership
Chinese pay price for world's rare earths addiction
Chile finds radioactive traces in Korean cars
Slim new BlackBerry models join smartphone wars
Thousands queue for iPad 2 across Asia
Brazil hits back in anger over dam protest
New biomass data reveals fish stocks more stable than believed
Filthy toilets a blight on Asian prosperity
'Million-dollar sharks' boon to eco-tourism: report
Calling all candidates for Concordia
Melting ice on Arctic islands a major player in sea level rise
ESA-NASA Collaboration Furthers Sea-Ice Research
Melting ice on Arctic islands boosts sea levels: study
WWF welcomes first Bulgaria ban on Danube sturgeon fishing
How the fruit fly made its way out of Africa
Genetic study says China source of rice
Scorpion venom bad for bugs but good for pesticides
Japan mulls tsunami lessons for reconstruction
Ecuador on alert after volcano erupts
Forecasters predict multiple US hurricane landfalls
Rain is Colombia's 'worst' natural disaster: Santos
Chinese army gives rocket launchers, weapons to Sierra Leone
Disaster-hit Japan will not cut aid to Africa: spokesman
Diehard pro-Gbagbo militia begin to disarm
Darfur rebels reject draft Doha accord
From day one the brain knows the difference between night and day
Grandma was right Infants do wake up taller
Study: Memories change brain structure
Chinese population ageing, moving to the cities
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|