On the occasion of the upcoming TICAD VI Summit and Conference, to be held from 27th -28th August, 2016 in the City of Nairobi, Kenya, may I take this early opportunity to welcome our distinguished delegates to ‘the City in the sun;’
May I also take the opportunity to extend a warm and brotherly welcome to those visiting Nairobi and, indeed, Africa for the first time. I hope and trust that you will enjoy our unparalleled African hospitality and that you will take some time to experience Kenya’s exceptionally beautiful scenery and our globally-famous wild-life heritage.
To all delegates: do rest assured that my government is putting in place every measure to ensure that you are safe and that your visit to Nairobi will remain a truly memorable one.
TICAD VI will afford the Heads of State and Governments from our entire African continent, an important opportunity to monitor the progress and implementation of previous TICAD agreements whose letter and spirit, remains that ever-great need to speed up the growth and development of Africa;
I am especially delighted that the hosting in Nairobi and other subsequent African capitals-as will be agreed for the future - will strengthen the need for greater African ownership of the TICAD initiative as well as that of the continent’s own destiny and developmental agenda;
I note with much satisfaction, that Kenya is among the very first African countries to have benefited immensely from the long-standing friendship with Japan. It is a relationship that goes back to the 1920s, with Japan opening its first consulate in our coastal city of Mombasa way back in 1932. To date there are some sixteen (16) ongoing projects in Kenya that are receiving critical funding support from the Government of Japan.
I am further pleased to note the tremendous increase in Japanese ODA to Africa, currently standing at USD 32 billion, including USD 16 billion for Public-Private Ventures. Of greater interest to me personally, is the fact that Kenya is the leading recipient of the Japanese ODA in Sub-Saharan Africa of which cumulatively to date, is at approximately 549 billion Japanese Yen (or Kshs 445 billion).
I therefore applaud the Government of Japan and especially Prime Minister Abe, for being at the forefront of delivering TICAD’s unique agenda in Africa. The TICAD initiative and process has clearly given Kenya and Africa one of the most important global platforms for re-focussing our quest for development among other critical issues; including the contemporary world threat posed by violent extremism. Indeed, TICAD’s traditional focus on the critical livelihood issues; notably, economic growth; agriculture and farming as well as social stability do themselves remain as important.
Last but not least, the Japanese support to a whole range of transformative programmes in Africa by way of grants, loans and through technical cooperation is already giving Africa some clearly great dividends in infrastructure; energy, agriculture as well as human resource capacities and education, in many areas across the continent.