Focus shifts to TICAD as global trade forum closes

What you need to know:

  • The Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD) is set to take place for two days beginning August 28 at a time when Japanese firms have increased their investments locally.

Focus has now shifted to the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD) set to take place in Nairobi next month following the signing of two crucial documents at Friday’s closing of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

TICAD, a key investment forum aimed at strengthening Japan-Africa economic and political relations, is set to take place for two days beginning August 28 at a time when Japanese firms have increased their investments locally.

UNCTAD came to an end with the endorsement of “Nairobi Azimio” and “Nairobi Maafikiano”, two documents that provide a set of trade and development issues to be tackled in the next four years.

The Azimio document, derived from the Kiswahili word for “vision”, will act as a declaration of guiding principles for UN members on issues of trade while the Maafikiano one sets out obligations for each member state and UNCTAD itself.

“The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, will attend. He will open the conference with President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Manoah Esipisu, the State House spokesperson on Sunday.

“The Summit will have three main themes: promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialisation, promotion of resilient health systems for quality of life and promotion of social stability.”

Since its inception over two decades ago, TICAD has evolved into a major global forum for mobilising international support for development in Africa under the principles of African ownership and international partnership.

The forum has never been held outside Tokyo. The conference will be held a month after the high profile UNCTAD14 that saw over 7,000 delegates gather in Nairobi to discuss trade and development issues, sign deals and set working targets for UN member states.

Delegates agreed that countries UNCTAD needs to offer more assistance in order for them to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), a set of development targets agreed by the UN to be achieved by 2030.

They also decided that the agency should mobilise additional financial resources for developing countries from “multiple sources.” 

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