President Jacob Zuma is amongst other dignitaries, today (Thursday) in Kenya to participate in the 6th Summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development taking place in Nairobi, in the Republic of Kenya.
The TICAD process was initiated in 1993 as an advocacy platform for African Development specifically aimed at mobilising humanitarian aid and Official Development Assistance (ODA). TICAD is a partnership between Africa and Japan.
Since 2008, the partnership has focused on reinventing itself to become a more dynamic, results-oriented mechanism, reflecting the positive developments and progress being made across the African continent. TICAD VI is significant, specifically as it is the first TICAD Summit to be hosted on the African continent.
The focus will be on advancing Africa's development agenda by bringing together Heads of State and/or Government as well as leading industrialists, top business executives and heads of business associations from Africa and Japan to promote high-level policy dialogue between these leaders and to mobilise support for African-owned development initiatives such as the African Union's Agenda 2063.
President Zuma and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are also scheduled to hold bilateral talks prior to the TICAD VI Summit.
Bilateral relations between South Africa and Japan remain cordial and continue to strengthen, with regular exchanges of high level visits, an increase in Japanese investments in South Africa and a wide range of technical areas of cooperation. South Africa is currently Japan's largest trade partner on the African continent. It is estimated that about 140 Japanese firms employing over 140 000 South Africans are operating in South Africa.
Bilateral ties between South Africa and Japan are multifaceted and include a broad range of areas of co-operation, which contribute to the transfer of technologies. In addition, Japan has been a major Asian project sponsor in Africa over the past ten years with the amount of Japanese project finance commitments over the ten years since 2005, totalling $33.5 billion.
The President will also attend the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) forum meeting which will take place on the sidelines of the TICAD VI Summit. The APRM is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the African Union (AU) as a self-monitoring mechanism. The Mechanism's primary objective is to foster the adoption of policies, values, standards and practices of political and economic governance that lead to political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth and sustainable development.
President Zuma will be accompanied by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies; Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi; Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor; Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mr Ngoako Ramatlhodi and the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Nomaindiya Mfeketo.