Japan to double development aid to Africa by 2012

May 28th, 2008 - 8:26 am ICT by admin  

Yokohama, May 28 (DPA) Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda vowed Wednesday to double Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) to Africa by 2012. Fukuda in Yokohama opened a three-day Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) with an announcement of Japan’s ODA plan, which includes up to $4 billion in soft loans to improve infrastructure in the region.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation would also provide $2.5-billion aid to businesses in Africa in the next five years, Fukuda said.

At TICAD, Japan is trying to maintain its influence in Africa in the face of rapidly expanding aid and investment in the resource-rich continent from emerging donors, particularly China.

Fukuda would continue bilateral meetings with African leaders through the conference to support Japan’s initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions and its bid for permanent membership on the UN Security Council.

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