TICAD8 Opening session

August 27, 2022

As prepared for delivery

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yoshimasa HAYASHI,

Distinguished Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Government and people of Tunisia for hosting the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) -- and

for their warm welcome to this global crossroads of trade, culture, and a shared ambition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), I would also like to thank the Government of Japan, the African Union, the World Bank, and other members of the United Nations (UN) family for co-convening this timely event.

TICAD8 takes place at a time of unprecedented global upheaval: surging food and energy prices are causing an acute cost-of-living crisis across Africa.

In tandem, the grip of hunger and famine is tightening for millions of people, including in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel where climate change in the form of unprecedented drought is compounding the situation.

Many countries in Africa are also mired in a debt crisis: curtailing their ability to respond.

At this moment of acute development challenges, Japan’s support to advance the 17 SDGs across the continent is crucial.

That includes supporting 90 projects by UNDP in 33 countries across Africa since TICAD7 in 2019. For instance, that includes:

  • Reinforcing health systems in 12 countries as COVID-19 hit.
  • Boosting human capital by supporting small-scale traders in the Liptako Gourma cross-border region: helping over 7,000 people to access new livelihood opportunities while also fostering stability.
  • Assisting countries including the Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, and South Sudan to conduct electoral processes.
  • Rolling out new ways to boost resilience to climate change in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Malawi.

As we look forward, the 2030 Agenda remains the key framework to ensure that countries across Africa are not left behind.

To keep progress on track, UNDP’s recent cost-of-living analysis has called for a moratorium on official debt for two years for all developing countries to enable them to bounce back from shocks and invest in the global green economy.

In tandem with domestic resource mobilization, countries such as Japan have a vital role to play in pro-actively leveraging their leadership in key fora -- including the G7 and G20 -- to help mobilize debt relief & channel much-needed finances and resources to Africa.

And all communities across the continent must be able to access the ‘supply chains’ of the new global green economy -- including clean energy & food systems -- to benefit from their new opportunities, not just outside investors.

As the Continent of Africa ends the ‘age of aid’ towards a new era of investment that drives prosperity, the potential opportunities for Japanese businesses to engage more actively on the ground on the continent are almost limitless.

Indeed, Japan’s status as a global tech leader will be pivotal to supporting communities roll-out a range of crucial digital solutions: from scaling-up innovative ways to tackle climate change to boosting financial inclusion.

Crucially, fostering peace and stability & boosting human security through UN Special Political Missions, Peacekeeping Missions, and UN Country Teams -- and communities themselves -- is pivotal as violence continues in regions such as the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, the Great Lakes, and Southern Africa.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yoshimasa HAYASHI,

Distinguished Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

TICAD8 represents a key means to mobilise new support to countries and communities across Africa: helping to end our global uncertainty complex and accelerate progress across all 17 SDGs.

Working closely with key partners like Japan and African Union, the United Nations is committed to continue the legacy of the former Prime Minister of Japan, the late Shinzo Abe:

accompanying millions of people across the Continent on their journeys to co-create the future that they want.

Thank you.