BUILDING MOMENTUM TOWARD TICAD III
Even Soccer Stars Give Helping Hands for African Development Conference (September 25, 2003)
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.
|Soccer stars Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane promote TICAD III.
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.
Related Web Sites
Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development
United Nations Development Program
Global Coalition for Africa
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.
ASEAN-JAPAN EXCHANGE YEAR 2003
(May 30, 2003)