Trend in Japan Web Japan
Business and Economy Lifestyle Science and Technology Fashion Arts and Entertainment Sports People
Even Soccer Stars Give Helping Hands for African Development Conference (September 25, 2003)

TICAD III poster
Soccer stars Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane promote TICAD III.
The Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development, or TICAD III, will take place for three days from September 29 to October 1. Japan initiated the TICAD process, and the conference is held in Tokyo every five years to discuss and promote African development. Having started in 1993, this year marks the tenth anniversary of the initiative.

Zidane and Ronaldo Appear Gratis in Posters
Commemorating the tenth anniversary of TICAD, and to help stir up more interest in the Tokyo-based international conference, soccer celebrities Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane posed for a TICAD advertisement poster. Millions of dollars in modeling fees would ordinarily be paid to superstars like them, but as goodwill ambassadors of the United Nations Development Program, they agreed to appear for free. "We would love to be of help in the drive to wipe out poverty in Africa," they said. Their appearance in the poster is expected to dramatically boost public recognition of the conference.

TICAD III will be held under the joint sponsorship of the Japanese government and a number of international organizations, including the UNDP, the Global Coalition for Africa, and the World Bank. It will also see the participation of nongovernmental organizations and other private-sector and civil-society groups from Africa, Asia, and G8 countries. Clearly, TICAD is a comprehensive framework that has the involvement of not only African countries but the global community at large.

Discussing New Approaches to African Aid
TICAD III will aim to come up with basic principles and a philosophy on African development. In addition, specific assistance measures will be discussed, such as countering HIV and other infectious diseases, developing water and human resources, reducing poverty through economic development, and consolidating peace.

Of particular interest from the standpoint of formulating a philosophy is how the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the first comprehensive development plan by African hands, will be elaborated. TICAD III aims to introduce a fresh perspective that departs from conventional methods of support for African countries, and wide-ranging discussions are expected.

In 1993, at the time of the first TICAD, then Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiro voiced his intention to promote South-South cooperation between Asia and Africa, stating, "I feel that for this meeting to be held in Asia to discuss Africa has a special significance, and it would be extremely rewarding if this Conference will one day be remembered as a milestone for future cooperative relations between Asia and Africa." This thinking was incorporated in the Tokyo Declaration on African Development, which was to serve as the guideline for African development.

The emphasis on South-South cooperation has been passed on to Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro. When he met in May 2003 with members of African diplomatic missions in Japan, the prime minister touched on the promotion of South-South cooperation and stressed, "We will promote South-South cooperation, in particular, Asia-Africa cooperation. 2005 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Asia-Africa conference, which was a historic step in Asia-Africa relations. As we approach this commemorative year, many Asian countries are taking a high interest in the TICAS process. Japan intends to open up a new chapter in the history of Asia-Africa interaction through the TICAD process."

Preconference Events Pave the Way
A number of events have already been held in the weeks leading up to TICAD III. Japanese nongovernmental groups engaged in development cooperation in Africa are organizing the events, and they have been carrying out various campaigns to ensure that African voices are heard in the TICAD process. Between June and July a series of five study workshops was held at an African restaurant and other venues to discuss infectious diseases, debts, agrarian development, food, and other issues. Nine representatives from African NGOs took part in the NGO International Symposium held at the United Nations University in Tokyo on August 3 and presented the difficulties facing countries in Africa.

Other upcoming preconference events include the UN Population Fund Tokyo Office First Anniversary Symposium "HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Step to Collaboration," which will be held on September 26, and African Documentary 2003, a film festival featuring 100 films on HIV/AIDS, to take place from September 27 to October 3.

 Page Top

Related Web Sites
Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development
United Nations Development Program
Global Coalition for Africa
World Bank
New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
"Hosokawa Morihiro" in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
"Tokyo Declaration on African Developmento" in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
UN Population Fund

Copyright (c) 2004 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

Related articles
(May 30, 2003)
Drop Us a Line
Your Name

What did you think of this article?

It was interesting.
It was boring.

Send this article to a friend

Go TopTrends in Japan Home

Go BackLifestyle Home