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Past Event

Rethinking the Aid Paradigm: Japan’s Engagement in Africa

Past Event

Rethinking the Aid Paradigm: Japan’s Engagement in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is forecasted to grow by six percent in 2014, which would make the region second only to Asia in economic dynamism. Improved governance, better economic management and a friendly business climate have led donor countries to take notice and step up their engagement in ways that go beyond traditional aid and humanitarian efforts—most notably with concessional loans for infrastructure projects, public-private partnerships and a more active private sector.

One country recalibrating its engagement with Africa is Japan. After 20 years of conventional development support, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held in Yokohama in June 2013 added a new element: private sector involvement. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that, over the next five years, Japan’s contributions to African development would include $16 billion from public and private resources and $2 billion in trade insurance in addition to $14 billion in official development assistance.

On June 13, the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Africa Growth Initiative co-hosted a public event to identify key recommendations for African policymakers looking to capitalize on Japan’s and other countries’ new engagement strategies to achieve their development goals. Panelists discussed the effects of both competition and collaboration among country donors as well as how the changing aid landscape will impact the region.

After each session, panelists took audience questions.



Panel Two - Engaging Africa: Donor Coordination Strategies to Realize the Continent’s Promise


Katsumi Hirano

Chief Senior Researcher - Institute of Developing Economies


Don Niss

Deputy Coordinator, Power Africa/Trade Africa - United States Agency for International Development

Keynote Address


Yoshifumi Okamura

Director-General, African Affairs Department - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

Panel One - Re-envisioning Japan’s Contribution to African Development: The Role of the Private Sector


Hiroshi Kato

Senior Vice President - Japan International Cooperation Agency


Satohiro Akimoto

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Relations Department - Mitsubishi Corporation


Keiko Honda

Executive Vice President - Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

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