Japan pledges $500m in financial aid to Africa
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has promised to provide financial support of around $500 million to Africa over the next three years, during a meeting with Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The support is aimed at promoting peace and stability on the continent, with a focus on the Sahel region which continues to face threats from Islamic extremists. Kishida also pledged to discuss the region at the upcoming Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima. In addition, the leaders emphasized the importance of providing transparent and fair development finance, and criticized China’s “debt trap” finance.
On the diplomatic front, Kishida and Akufo-Addo condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and agreed to work closely to address the ongoing conflict in Sudan. Ghana has consistently voted for resolutions at the UN General Assembly condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Akufo-Addo emphasized that it is unacceptable for a major power to disregard the sovereignty of a smaller nation.
Kishida also pledged to support Ghana in fields such as investment from Japan, infrastructure and human resource development, increasing rice production, and food security. Akufo-Addo expressed readiness to improve Ghana’s fiscal health, as the African country is struggling to meet its debt obligations.
Kishida’s visit to Africa is aimed at boosting ties with the “Global South” ahead of the G-7 summit. Both Japan and Ghana are currently serving as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
For the most part, Kishida’s financial support pledge and diplomatic efforts are seen as a positive move towards promoting peace, stability, and transparent development finance in Africa. The focus on the Sahel region, which continues to face significant security threats, is also commendable. However, it remains to be seen how the financial support will be distributed and utilized, and whether it will have a significant impact on promoting development in the region. Nonetheless, the visit and discussions between Kishida and Akufo-Addo serve as an important step towards strengthening ties between Japan and Africa, and promoting mutual cooperation and understanding.
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