Buhari To Attend Tokyo Conference, Seek ‘Broader Japanese Assistance’ For Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Sunday for Japan to participate in the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) holding in the City of Yokohama, between August 28 and 30.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
He explained that the President’s participation would be his second, having attended TICAD6 in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016.
With the theme, “Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future,” the Opening Session of TICAD7 will be performed by the Japanese Prime Minister and host, Shinzo Abe.
Adesina explained that President Buhari would deliver Nigeria’s Statement during Plenary Session Three in which he would appraise Nigeria-Japan relations and takeaways from TICAD6.
The President would also attend a State Banquet and honour the invitation of Emperor Naruhito to a Tea Reception at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
In addition to a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, the Nigerian leader would attend some side-events and meet chief executive officers of some Japanese companies with huge investments in Nigeria.
Formed in 1993, the now triennial TICAD, which has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since TICAD6, according to the organisers, is the largest international conference held in Japan which “provides an open forum that generates innovative discussion among various stakeholders on African development.”
Participants are drawn from African countries and international organisations, private companies and civil society organisations involved in development.
TCAD7 is expected to focus on Africa’s “economic transformation and improvements in business environment and institution through private investment and innovation; promotion of resilient and sustainable African society for human security; and peace and stability in support of Africa’s domestic proactive efforts.”
Adesina said Nigeria has gained tremendously since her participation in TICAD6 at the highest level, during which Japan pledged $30 billion investment “for the future of Africa combined with the private sector;” $10 billion infrastructure investment, and $500 million for vocational training of 50,000 Africans.
Since the Nairobi Conference, he noted that the Japanese government and companies have been very active in supporting Nigeria’s agriculture, healthcare, electricity and youth empowerment.
The President’s spokesman said his principal and his delegation are expected in Yokohama to push for broader Japanese assistance in the areas of science and technology, innovation, human resource development, education, agriculture, power, health, and disaster risk reduction, among others.
President Buhari would be accompanied by Governors Babagana Zulum, AbdulRaham AbdulRazaq and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Borno, Kwara and Lagos States respectively, as well as ministers and other top government officials.
The President is expected back in Nigeria on Saturday, August 31.
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