Friday, May 30, 2008

TICAD delegates in Tokyo vow efforts on African development

Xinhua: Delegates at an African development conference vowed here [in Tokyo] Friday their efforts toward boosting economic growth, ensuring human security and addressing climate change in Africa. The delegates, coming from African countries and international and regional organizations, at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) also agreed on a concrete Yokohama Action Plan for the next five years and a follow-up mechanism to monitor the progress of the aid.

In response to the appeals from African countries, the highlights are put on building infrastructure and increasing agricultural productivity to accelerate broad-based economic growth in Africa. As part of the efforts, the World Bank announced to scale up lending for infrastructure, including transport, energy, water and sanitation, and information communication technologies, from the current 2.6 billion US dollars investment to 3.3 billion per year over the coming three years.

Japan also pledged to provide loans up to 4 billion dollars to support, among other areas, infrastructure--especially road corridors and regional power projects- and agriculture. Welcoming the efforts of the donation countries, African leaders also called for closer Africa-Asia cooperation and productive usage of international aid.

Africa accounts for only 4 percent of CO2 emissions, yet its populations, largely dependent on natural resources, are among the most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events. The bitter fact has thus made the environmental issue a key point for the approach to be discussed at TICAD IV….

An aerial shot of Tokyo at night, shot by "Lukas," Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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