Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Japan pledges to help Africa double rice production

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Japan vowed Wednesday 27/05 to use its technological prowess to help African nations double rice production within a decade and ease the burden of soaring food prices.

Fukuda opened the conference by pledging to double aid by 2012 and offering four billion dollars in low-interest loans to develop infrastructure. Amid spiralling food prices that have triggered unrest in some parts of the world, Fukuda also promised to devote Japanese technology to help Africa double rice production over the next 10 years from the current 14 million tonnes.

A symposium hosted by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was organised Tuesday 27/05 in advance of an African economic summit conference attended by some 100 heads of state of African nations, UN and international organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Other members of the symposium included Jakaya Mrisho Kitwete, the President of Tanzania and the current head of the African Union, Joaquim Alberto Chissano, former president of Mozambique and Donald Kaberuka, the President of the African Development Bank. Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University in New York delivered a video message to the symposium.

The panel members debated the current state of Africa's economic situation, the best ways to accelerate economic progress, the delicate balance between government controls and private enterprise and the lessons to be learned from Asia’s so-called economic miracle of recent decades.


Japanese International Cooperation Agency New Initiative to Double Rice Production in Africa +