Support Of Development Partners Needed To Realise Africa’s Renaissance, Says Ethiopian PM
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn says Africa’s renaissance will be realised with strengthened support of its development partners.
Speaking at the opening of the 5th TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) Ministerial Preparatory Meeting here Saturday, he said the support of development partners was significant not only to reduce poverty but also to bring about sustainable development in Africa.
The Prime Minister, referring to the support of Japan within the framework of TICAD during the last 20 years, lauded the initiative taken by Japan to draw the attention of the international community towards Africa by establishing TICAD as a forum of policy co-ordination in support of Africa’s development.
Over the last decade, Africa has been registering an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of more than 5.0 per cent and recent reports indicate that currently six out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, he said.
Ethiopia, for instance, has been registering double-digit economic growth for almost a decade now, the Prime Minister noted, adding that this was indeed one of the fastest and most sustained growth rates in the world.
Hailemariam said Africa had also started to speak with one voice on global issues of concern such as climate change and the reform of the United Nations.
The Japanese government is providing development assistance to Africa within the framework of TICAD, particularly in the areas of trade, education, health as well as agriculture and infrastructure development, he said, lauding the commitment of the Japanese government to support Ethiopia achieve its Growth and Transformation Plan.
Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida told the meeting that TICAD had from its inception promoted Africa’s latent potential to the world and called for strengthening of partnerships with the international community that would lead to the flowering of that untapped potential.
The Minister said Africa was now commanding the attention of the international community as the next economic frontier. Africa, which in the past suffered from poverty and conflicts, had become a new source of hope full of bright light.
Japan has decided to provide assistance amounting to 550 million USD in order to ensure peace and stability, which are an important foundation for growth and prosperity, he said.
Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Erastus Mwencha said the meeting would help to further enhance the relation between the AU and Japan.
Growing support to maintain peace and stability in Africa, register economic growth and help African countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicated the commitment of Japan towards development of Africa, he said.