University of Toronto G8 Information Centre

SOMMET D'EVIAN 2003
Summit Documents

Briefing with
Hideaki Domichi,
Africa Personal Representative of the G8 for Japan
Evian, June 2, 2003

Unofficial transcript by Roopa Rangaswami, G8 Research Group

Mr. Domichi: "I think as you know, African representatives have been working very hard in the past one year after Kananaskis to come up with the implementation report, of the G8 action plan. We are very pleased that…last night…leaders have adopted, endorse this, including the G8 Africa joint plan for supporting the peace support operations. Um, I think that we have unity among ourselves, among G8, to support NEPAD, you know, we are pleased that we are going to expand our partnership, including the other interested donors and the international organizations. In the past one year, with the leadership of the French APR, we have engaged the very intensive discussions with the leaders of the international organizations like Mr. Wolfensohn, Mr. Diouf, Mr. Ricupero, and all these heads of international organizations. We have come to realize that we have to better coordinate among ourselves, together with the international organizations, because, you know, the resources are limited and, um, better coordinate our activities, including the activities of the international organizations. Um, I think the, um, NEPAD very much welcomes, and, all of the African countries admitted to it, but the…it has just started, and we have to continue dialogue, and um, from this point, the need to have the continuity has been amply specified among the leaders last night. And this is exactly why we are going to continue with the expanded partnerships. And Japan also is a very active participant in these partnerships, and in fact, we think that we have made contributions…we organized the TICAD I in 1993, and 1993 was the year when the world attention was being diverted to the other regions after the end of the Cold War, attention being diverted from Africa, and also, the concept of TICAD at the time, was…the… promoting the ownerships and partnerships concepts. I think we are very much pleased… in the implementation report it is clearly stipulated that the African priorities are replacing the donors assumptions of the African priorities. I think…this spirit is the same as that of the TICAD process, and in that context, what we’re trying to do is…continue the TICAD process in support of NEPAD. Now, um, Africa needs are enormous and it is perhaps true that we, in order to address the various issues, the tremendous task has to be done, and we think to create growth in Africa is essential. To reduce the poverty, and to address the various issues, and so…it goes without saying that the resolve of the peace and peace consolidation is the preconditions. We have tried to promote throughout the world the concept of human security, and we have created the human security fund in the United Nations to the address the…I think…the human insecurity. Although we are not able to participate fully in the peace support operations which has been envisaged, like the sending forces to Africa, or…conducting military training, or to finance the foreign troops, but the…I think we can together with the other countries promote peace consolidations, including the de-mining or the rescue of the refugees or internally displaced persons. Peace is the fundamental preconditions, but Africa is not one unit — the problem is the perception towards Africa is so bad that the people are inclined to believe in Africa as one continent with the same standards, but in fact it is not, and therefore when we talk about the partnerships we should take the position that Africa is in fact more diversified, and there is the potential for Africa to grow, and I think that this growth is very important. Actually, when you look at the growth pattern, the growth in Africa on the whole is 3-4% and some of the places can grow faster, you know, particularly those countries that are endowed with the natural resources, or in a country like South Africa…[unclear]. I think, you know, the concepts of enhanced partnerships, and this is very important. We haven’t yet come to the stages where we designate the enhanced partnerships countries, I think we have to look a little bit more with some patience, how the African process would proceed, but conceptually it is very important to promote the enhanced partnerships. To create the growth, what we will do is first of all, together with the other partners to promote the African agricultural productivity and we are very much pleased that the donors, particularly the G8, have come to realize that agriculture is the key area and it is very abnormal that Africa as a continent has to import so much food. Famines happen, but the agricultural policy has to be reviewed otherwise…Africa has to depend upon the import of food for a long time to come and in that case, in view that most people live in rural areas, regards the growth of agriculture, I think that African growth cannot be talked about without agricultural growth. Because there would be no domestic resources to depend upon. It is often said how to promote the FDI and others, but in fact the FDI will not come to Africa without the adequate infrastructures, and without human resources, so except for the minerals or mining, it is true that the FDI will not come. So that’s why the percentage of Africans having the direct investment is less than 1%, which means that Africa is very much marginalized in the global economy. So to try to reverse this is very important. Agriculture is one thing, the other thing is infrastructure. I think that we hope that there would be some…that we could see from the dialogue how to promote the infrastructure in Africa. I think NEPAD has a program. NEPAD may have…"over expectations." The donors would respond 1:1, to the needs of the infrastructure buildings, which requires a huge amount of money. But…we have yet to come up with a solution as to how to finance it. I mean including the public-private partnerships, but…[unclear]. Last night, we have discussed the various issues like HIV and education, and other priority areas. The thing is that the…no country can address these issues single-handedly. So that’s why partnerships expansion is very, very important. On our part, this September, end of September, we have organized TICAD III, and we are inviting all African countries plus the donors and international organizations, and also what we are trying to do is promote Asia-Africa cooperation…and…major countries, India, China, Korea, but some of the countries have been very active in Africa. India, or the Malaysians, you know, or the Japanese. I think these countries are trying to promote Asia-Africa cooperation by joining the TICAD process. Um, so, we want to promote this, and our priorities has been specified in this handout you will receive the Prime Minister’s speech, this is the essence of what we’re trying to do. So first of all, we have the cooperation among the G8, this is a core, and then we have the cooperation with the other donors which are mostly European countries, because we have yet, already talked to the G10, you know, and what we tried to promote is cooperation also. We hope that things will change. I think that Africa…[unclear]. It takes so huge amount of money and time to come to Africa, with all…why, if the countries such as South Africa and Angola is going to develop, I think we would see another route of access to the Asian and African countries and this should happen…things are beginning to change. So I think without referring to the details, I think this is the best of what we have for Africa."

Journalist: "In light of the new donations from the European Union and the United States, has Japan announced any new funds for health issues?"

Mr. Domichi: "No no no. I think…actually, we have made contributions to global funds. Um, 200 million dollars over the next 5 years to the global HIV fund…"

END OF TRANSCRIPTION. PLEASE SEE FOLLOWING SUMMARY NOTES FOR REMAINDER OF BRIEFING.

Japan has done much in the US/UK/Japan-led fight against Polio, contributing 18 million dollars to the Polio fund this year alone. Since HIV is the most important issue facing Africa today, and with much of the African population denied access to clean water, the spread of HIV is severely exacerbated. This is why Japan has undertaken several new global initiatives for increased water access and sanitation. Japan hosted the 3rd World Water Conference in March of 2003, and established increased aid levels for water programs, as well as a new partnership with France for capacity building efforts in the Senegal River Basin, Djibouti, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. These partnerships were solidified last night, and the intention for further global effort towards sanitation and water issues was made clear. Further Japanese efforts in the area of water will be discussed at the TICAD conference in September.

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