August 29, 2022
From August 26 to August 28, Mr. Nakatani Shinichi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Tunis, Tunisia and attended the plenary meeting and Business Forum of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8). At TICAD8, he announced concrete measures that METI will work on to promote business in Africa. In addition, he held meetings with ministers and officials of African countries and exchanged views on revitalizing business relations between Japan and their respective countries.
1. The Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development and Business Forum
The TICAD8 Business Forum was held with a limited number of participants from the viewpoint of infection control. 50 Japanese companies from industry engaged in business for Africa and major African companies participated. In addition, from African governments, H.E. Mr. Kais Saied, President of Tunisia—the host country—and H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the AU participated, and Prime Minister Kishida gave a greeting via video message.
On the first day, State Minister Nakatani announced METI’s intentions to implement various policies, focusing on (1) support to revitalize industry to contribute to solving social issues, (2) Japan’s Green Growth Initiative with Africa announced by Prime Minister Kishida, and (3) industrial human resource development (refer to reference materials for details). At the MOU ceremony, Memoranda of Understanding between Japan and African countries in the field of business were introduced in the presence of President Saied of Tunisia, President Sall of Senegal, Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi, and State Minister Nakatani. A total of 92 MOUs were concluded at TICAD8, including an MOC on the development of industrial technology and human resources in Kenya, which was signed by State Minister Nakatani.
At the TICAD8 Business Forum on the second day, State Minister Nakatani attended a signing ceremony for an MOU towards investment by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) into the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI). State Minister Nakatani stated that the MOU was part of Japan’s Green Growth Initiative with Africa and a project that symbolized the strengthening of collaboration with diverse partners including financial institutions in African regions, and he expressed his hopes that strengthening cooperation between NEXI and ATI would contribute to promoting more Japanese participation in African business. NEXI and ATI confirmed that they will cooperate in the procedures for investment based on the MOU. H.E. Ms. Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Tunisia, gave a closing address and concluded the two-day forum.
2. Relations with Tunisia
Participation in the Tunisia-Japan Business Forum
State Minister Nakatani gave a speech at the Tunisia-Japan Business Forum held on the August 26 and expressed his hopes that holding the TICAD8 in Tunisia would further deepen business relations between Japan and Tunisia. After that, State Minister Nakatani was invited by H.E. Ms. Neila Gonji, Minister of Industry, Energy and Mines (Tunisia), to tour Tunisia’s industrial exhibition, which featured innovative ideas and technologies, including robots and small planes.
Meeting with the Tunisian Minister of Industry, Energy and Mines
During the meeting with Minister Gonji at the reception hosted by Prime Minister Bouden, the METI state minister welcomed the agreement to accelerate negotiations on investment agreements for the bilateral strengthening of the economy, explained initiatives for green growth—including the seawater desalination project combined with solar power generation—and exchanged views on cooperation in fields such as industrial human resource development. Minister Gonji expressed her interest in Japanese companies’ efforts, the government’s support measure J-Bridge, and the Africa-Japan Industrial Human Resource Development Initiative for the Future (AfIF), and exchanged views on strengthening their cooperation so that Japanese companies could further advance their business. Representatives from the Japanese business community and JETRO also attended the meeting.
Completion Ceremony of Tunisia’s Rades Combined Cycle Power Plant
State Minister Nakatani and Minister Gonji attended the completion ceremony of the Rades Combined Cycle Power Plant, which was constructed by Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsubishi Power with a yen loan. In his address at the completion ceremony, State Minister Nakatani said that the Rades Power Plant, which gathered many advanced Japanese technologies, will contribute to a stable power supply in Tunisia, and he had high expectations that it will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the environment. He expressed his intention to continue cooperation with Tunisia in a wide range of areas.
3. Meetings with participants from African countries
State Minister Nakatani held meetings with ministers and officials from several countries that attended TICAD8 with representatives from the Japanese business community and JOGMEC in attendance, and held open discussions on concrete business challenges that Japanese companies are facing.
Meeting with the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry ofIndustrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development of Kenya
During the meeting with H.E. Ms. Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry ofIndustrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development of Kenya, the two sides discussed cooperating in field of power generation using renewable energy such as geothermal and solar energy. The two ministers confirmed the importance of the feasibility study project recently launched by Japanese companies on developing a green hydrogen value chain. Secretary Maina welcomed the fact that quite a few Japanese companies in various fields were engaged in business in Kenya, and expressed her intention to accelerate consultations to deepen bilateral investment and trade relations in order to further strengthen cooperation. After the meeting, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to promote Human Resource Technical Skills Development, and agreed that the both governments would also promote cooperation to develop them on the intergovernmental level.
Meeting with the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of the Republic of Mozambique
At the meeting with H.E. Mr. António Osvaldo Saíde , Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of the Republic of Mozambique, State Minister Nakatani explained the importance of the LNG project in Mozambique, which Japan is involved in, based on the current world situation. He called for the stabilization and improvement of the investment environment and the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, and the two sides discussed concrete cooperation.
Meeting with the Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation of the Republic of Senegal
At the meeting with H.E. Mr. Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation of the Republic of Senegal, State Minister Nakatani celebrated their reunion and explained Japan’s Green Growth Initiative with Africa which was announced as an effort by the Japanese government, and described the seawater desalination project and solar power generation project, both of which are concrete results of the efforts based on the initiative. Both sides also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM). Minister Hott welcomed the increased expansion of Japanese companies into Senegal and mentioned the easing of export financing conditions by the G7 countries.
Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
At the meeting with H.E. Mr. Tesfaie, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, State Minister Nakatani requested cooperation in smoothly promoting projects as Japan contributes to the privatization of and introducing foreign capital to mobile communication businesses, which is part of Ethiopia’s economic reforms. The two sides confirmed the importance of the mobile communications business project, and Minister Tesfaie mentioned that the Ethiopian government would cooperate, through its internal coordination, to support the smooth business promotion of Japanese companies.
Meeting with the Director-General of the National Planning Commission and Minister of Economic Planning of the Republic of Namibia
At the meeting with Hon. Obeth Kandjoze, Director-General of the National Planning Commission and Minister of Economic Planning of Namibia, State Minister Nakatani welcomed the signing of the MOU on cooperation in the field of mineral resources on the occasion of the TICAD8, and explained that preparations were being made to hold a seminar with JOGMEC in order to promote understanding of Namibia’s investment environment. Director-General Kandjoze said that he would like to further strengthen relations between Japan and Namibia, including in the field of minerals.
After the meeting, Mr. Hosono Tetsuhiro, president of JOGMEC, and Director-General Kandjoze attended the signing ceremony of the MOU in the presence of State Minister Nakatani.
Meeting with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
At the meeting with H.E. Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment of Nigeria, State Minister Nakatani mentioned the launch of J-Bridge—a platform to promote partnerships between Japanese companies, overseas startups, and other organizations—in Africa. He also expressed his gratitude for Minister Adebayo’s video message for the Africa Launch Event held in early August. Minister Adebayo mentioned his hopes for the increased expansion of Japanese companies in Nigeria, particularly in manufacturing, and the Nigerian government’s policy for attracting foreign companies.