The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) was back in Yokohama for 3 days, last week, from August 28th till 30th, 2019, for its 7th edition. TICAD is the largest international conference held in Japan, gathering 53 Nations from the African Continent.
The three pillars of TICAD for Africa are: first, accelerating economic acceleration, and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement; second, deepening sustainable and resilient society; and last strengthening peace and stability.
There were business forums, discussions, sides events, conferences, and bilateral meetings with Japan and with countries around the key areas of the three pillars. There was huge excitement and impressive cultural atmosphere around Yokohama even before the TICAD started.
From Grid Parity Sustainable Society perspective, we attended this 7th edition TICAD and followed closely the side events. We had strong interest in TICAD as we contribute to the development of Human Resources through the ABE Initiative program which is a result of TICAD 5. As 2019, we receive interns from this program in our company to strengthen the African student’s knowledge, skills and professional culture in Japan.
During this conference, it was recognized that there is a need for human resource development in both private and public sectors of Africa in order to cultivate a strong human network between Japan and Africa. We are delighted to hear that the program will continue for next years and will have more focus on SDGs sides as well.
TICAD 7 helped our company to have a better understanding of the African market, essentially in the renewable energy sector and the way we address the topic of sustainability in Africa in this matter.
We attended different workshops such as the one organized by Kyoto University: “Workshop on promoting Private Investment in Renewable Energy in Africa”. It was interesting to have a comparison from academic, policymakers and business views. The needs of energy in Africa, the potential of resources in the continent, the barriers and the advantages that can face investors to go to Africa had been highlighted and discussed.
As a great example of outcomes from TICAD in Yokohama, GPSS was invited by PASET (Partnerships for skills in Applied Sciences Engineering & Technology) “Regional Scholarships and Innovations Fund”, to participate to a workshop called “University-Industry Partnership Workshop” organized together with World Bank and was held in World Bank Office in Tokyo.
PASET was looking for different partners in the private sector to support their funding systems for the African Universities. This workshop addressed the needs and the importance of Research and Development to be made in Africa through the collaboration of Japanese private sector (private firms) and African Universities.
As TICAD 7 results, from GPSS perspective, we are optimistic for the future of Africa and will look forward for further collaboration.
Other related links: https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/africa/ticad/ticad7/pdf/ticad7_torikumi_en.pdf