Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Tokyo Int'l Conference on African Development (TICAD)

FARA is attending the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held from May 28 to 30 in Yokohama, Japan.

Hundreds of delegates from all over the world, including over 40 heads of state of African countries are expected to attend the quinqennial event, under the theme "Toward a Vibrant Africa: A continent of Hope and Opportunity."

TICAD is a policy forum for African Development which Japan initiated in 1993 and has led with other co-organizers which consist of the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on African, the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank. A central feature of TICAD is the cooperation between Asia and Africa.

Since the inauguration in early 1990s, the TICAD meetings have evolved into a major global framework to facilitate the implementation of initiatives for promoting African development under the dual principle of African "ownership" and international "partnership".

The main objectives of TICAD are to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and their partners and to mobilize support for African-owned development initiatives. Summit-level meetings are held every five years, while four ministerial conferences and other meetings have been held in between.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (2nd L, front), Madagascan President Marc Ravalomanana (L, front) and Gabonese President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba (3rd L, front) visit the booth of Ghana Shea Butter soap at the African Fair 2008 Opening Ceremony, during the first day of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in Yokohama, Japan, May 28, 2008. (Xinhua Photo/Ren Zhenglai)

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (C) and guests including Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba(5th L), Madagascar's President Marc Ravalomanana(4th R), take a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of African Fair 2008 in Yokohama, near Tokyo oJn May 28, 2008. This five-day fair opened here connected the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). (Xinhua Photo/ Kazuhiro NOGI/Pool)

The conference aims to mobilizes knowledge and resources of the international community in the core areas of boosting economic growth, ensuring human security and addressing environment and climate change issues.

TICAD IV is scheduled to conclude with the adoption of the "Yokohama Declaration", outlining guiding principles and approaches to African development among TICAD stakeholders, as well as the "Yokohama Action Plan and the Yokohama Follow-up Mechanism", laying out a road map for action-oriented initiatives with measurable targets.

Results from TICAD IV are expected to be fed into the G-8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit hosted by Japan from July 7 to 9, 2008.