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TICAD7, the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development: Advancing Africa's Development through People, Technology and Innovation

The Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) was held from Aug. 27 to Aug. 30 in Yokohama, Japan. It is the Summit-level international conference on Africa's development initiated by Japan in 1993. This year, the conference returns to Japan after six years, as TICAD VI was convened in Africa (Kenya) for the first time in 2016.

TICAD7 was co-chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt, and attended by delegations from African countries, including H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, as well as leaders from international organizations, aid agencies, members of civil society, and researchers who gathered to discuss African development.

During the Summit, Prime Minister Abiy met with Prime Minister Abe, at which time the two discussed Ethiopia's on-going economic reforms and the opportunity for Japanese businesses to invest in Ethiopia's agriculture, tourism, ICT and mining sectors. Prime Minister Abiy also met with the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr. Shinichi Kitaoka. JICA is currently carrying out various projects in Ethiopia, supporting economic development.

In addition, Prime Minister Abiy attended the "Second Ethio-Japan Business and Investment Forum" organized by the Embassy of Ethiopia in collaboration with JICA and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The forum brought together 40 to 50 Ethiopian public and private companies to network with Japanese companies on possible Government-to-Business (G2B) and Business-to-Business (B2B) opportunities. A visit was also paid to the Toshiba Energy Systems Solutions plant, where the Prime Minister made a call for the company to invest in Ethiopia's geothermal sector.

Kaizen was also at the forefront of the sideline discussions this week. The seminar, under the theme: "Africa's Socio-economic Transformation through Innovation," discussed the role of Kaizen in improving quality, productivity and competitiveness in Africa. Among the panelists was Mr. Bezabih Gebreyes, Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission of Ethiopia.

As an output of TICAD7, "Yokohama Declaration" was issued by Japanese government. In line with the pillars of the declaration such as (1) Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement, (2) Deepening sustainable and resilient society, (3) Strengthening peace and stability, JICA will contribute to the realization of "Yokohama Action Plan" with its field experience and knowledge in Africa. (Press Release)