Speaking in the third panel of the Brussels briefing on “New drivers, new players in ACP rural development”, Ambassador Keiji Yamamoto and Motofumi Kohara, JICA Director General for Rural Development, explained how Japan fosters South-South cooperation
Ambassador Keiji Yamamoto opened his intervention with an overview of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). Japan hosted its fourth TICAD this May and chaired the G8 Summit where development and Africa were one of the major topics. The main issues discussed at TICAD IV were boosting economic growth, ensuring human security and addressing environment/climate change issues.
As far as rural development is concerned, the TICAD process will seek alignment with the Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) agenda to enhance capacity to increase food production, improve access to markets and to support sustainable management of water resources and land use. Japan acknowledges the gravity of the food crisis and has set a series of emergency responses and is ready to invest in infrastructure and the improvement of technologies as part of longer-term efforts, notably to double rice production over the next ten years.
Mr. Motofumi Kohara, from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) explained that JICA, together with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), launched the “Coalition for African Rice Development” (CARD) as one of the mechanisms to boost rice production. The coalition forms a consultative group of bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as regional and international organisations working in collaboration with producing African countries. He stated that in implementing CARD, Asian experiences are very useful, although the conditions prevailing in Africa and Asia are different in many aspects. He argued that improving rice production in Africa will also serve as an important driver in South-South cooperation between Africa and Asia.
See more from the 2 July Briefing