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TICAD, the first and one of a kind

18 March 2019

In 1993 Japan as a country took the lead in hosting the first international conference on Africa’s development. Hosted in Tokyo, the conference was initiated as a result of donor and aid fatigue, which saw minimal results and donor frustration.

The “Tokyo Declaration on Africa’s Development” adopted at the conference, set out guidelines for interactions with Africa to move beyond the dependence on aid and donor funding, to ownership and commerce. The declaration recognized and acknowledged that the African continent is bountiful and that reforming and re-thinking the socio-economic and political processes would unlock Africa’s untold potential.

The 2019 TICAD VII (7) will take place in Yokohama in August this year. The G20, the Rugby World Cup and WAW, the World Assembly for Women, will all be held in Japan this year.  Japan will be sufficiently occupied as Tokyo prepares to host the 32nd Summer Olympic Games in 2020.

The Embassy of Japan in Pretoria, South Africa invited members of the media on a tour to inform them about these global events and the significant and longstanding bilateral relations between South Africa and Japan.  Trade between the countries reached almost R100 billion with 120 Japanese companies operating in South Africa creating around 150 000 jobs.

Accompanied by Embassy Minister Kawaguchi and Third Secretary Sawada, Komatsu the renowned earthmoving and heavy equipment company in Germiston, was the first stop. The newly purpose built state of the art facility is a billion rand investment in South Africa and is a direct result of President Ramaphosa’s call for investment in the country.

 The plant, the only one on the continent for Komatsu is a clear indication of confidence in South Africa and Africa, said Mike Blom, Managing Director of Komatsu Holdings Africa. Blom explained that a remanufacturing plant is in the process of being built. This is a significant addition to the supply and maintenance side of the business, especially for the mining and construction sectors. The training centre is a key component of the campus, providing much needed skills development.

Japa, the restaurant that serves authentic Japanese cuisine was the venue for lunch. Situated on Rivonia Boulevard in Sandton, Sushi, Sashimi and Tempura are some of the traditional Japanese food served at the restaurant. Japanese beer, Saki and a special brand of Japanese Whisky are also available.


Pink Drive is a mobile clinic for screening and early cancer detection for breast and cervical cancer.  “The mobile clinic is equipped with medical devices provided by FUJIFILM and was sponsored by the Embassy of Japan as part of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Projects (GGP) programme in order to allow those who do not have medical aid to be screened,” Sawada says.

Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogapane-Zulu of Social Development, who is in support of PinkDrive, expressed her gratitude to the Japanese government and explained how these mobile units are making a change for the better for many people who cannot easily access medical care.

Since its inception 26 years ago, TICAD VII will have tried and tested results of the implementation of the Tokyo Declaration. It will be able to examine the progress of development in Africa and Japan’s unique relationship with the continent. K Bhana




February/March 2020

















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