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TICAD-VI opens in Kenya: Africa and Japan emphasize the Need for a Strengthened Partnership

By African Union Commission (AUC),SMS
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Preparation for the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-VI) began today with a Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM) at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi, Kenya. This is the first time since its inception in 1993 that TICAD is being held in Africa and the TICAD VI Summit demonstrates the continent’s ownership of the TICAD process.

The meeting was opened in the presence of high-level officials from Africa and Japan, and other TICAD co-organizers including United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UNOSAA), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and World Bank (WB). Representatives of invited countries, International Organizations and Civil Society Organizations were also in attendance.

During his opening speech, H.E. Mr. Cherif Mahamat Zene, Chairperson of the Permanent Representative Committees (PRC) and Ambassador of Chad to Ethiopia and to the African Union (Chair of the African Union), thanked the Governments of Japan and Kenya together with all the co-organizers for the efforts made in planning and holding the TICAD VI Summit. He acknowledged that in addition to strengthening Africa-Japan partnership, the TICAD process over the years has achieved noteworthy continental goals. To keep the momentum going, the Chairperson of the PRC underscored the need for the Senior Officials to work collectively and focus attention on the strategic approaches for developing the implementation plan of the identified priority areas of cooperation.

On his part, H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), during opening remarks, expressed his appreciation to Japan, the government and people of Kenya and all co-organizers for successfully organizing TICAD-VI Summit, which will be held from 27 to 28 August 2016. The Deputy Chairperson pointed out that TICAD process lies within the purview of Agenda 2063 and underscored that the Senior Official’s Meeting will not just revisit previous decisions and their implementation, but will also cover additional priorities in prepararatio for the meeting of the Ministers scheduled to take place on 26 August 2016.

Representing the Host country, H.E. Ambassador Monica K. Juma, Principal Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya, acknowledged TICAD as a forum that has been able to promote synergy between Africa, Japan, and the international community in a candid and heart to heart manner that promotes a sense of equality and mutual benefit.

TICAD-VI Summit, will discuss three thematic priority areas identified to complement the Yokohama Action Plan as adopted by the TICAD V Summit held in, Japan in 2013. These areas are: Promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialization; Promoting resilient health system for quality of life; and Promoting social stability for shared prosperity.

All the African Heads of State and Government of Japan as well as other dignitaries will be expected to participate in the TICAD VI Summit.