The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, recently did a two-day visit to Tokyo where he applauded the government’s support to the Bank and underscored the need for more Japanese private investments in Africa.
Leading a team of senior Bank staff, Adesina met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda; the President of Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), Shinichi Kitaoka; the Chair of the Sasakawa Group, Jiro Hanyu and the Executive Vice President of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Katsumi Hirano, as well as several other business leaders.
He thanked the government for the immense support to the AfDB and to Africa, noting that the Bank will continue to count on the country in the forth-coming replenishment of the African Development Fund, the concessional window of the Bank Group established in 1972. Japan is the third largest shareholder of the AfDB after Nigeria and the United States in the first and second position respectively; as well as the highest contributor to the ADF.
Cooperation between Japan and Africa can only grow stronger as the continent continues to demonstrate resilience to internal and external shocks while posting an appreciable 4.5% growth projected to even rise further above global trends despite the fall in commodity prices and other difficulties.
AfDB President said the Japanese private sector stood to gain by investing in quality infrastructure that Africa badly needs at this point, especially in the energy, agriculture and even health sectors, adding that the Bank would play a supporting role by buying down some of the risks associated with the African private sector.
The implementation of the Bank’s High 5s priorities (Light up and power Africa, feed Africa, integrate Africa, industrialize Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa) would certainly open up investment opportunities for companies determined to do business in Africa. Besides, a recent study conducted by JETRO on Japanese-affiliated firms in the Middle East and Africa, showed that 55.6% of the respondents intend to expand their business in the next one of two years. Another 52.3% produced a surplus.
The team also visited the Bank’s Representation Office for Asia (ASRO) opened in Tokyo in 2012 as a bridge between Africa and the Bank’s four Asian non-regional member countries – China, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea.