STATEMENT BY AMB. (DR.) AMINA C. MOHAMED, EGH, CAV CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS DURING THE TICAD VI MINISTERIAL MEETING – MAPUTO, THE REPUBLIC OF MOZAMBIQUE, 24TH AND 25TH AUGUST, 2017
OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRESS OF THE TICAD PROGRESS SINCE TICAD VI
Your Excellency Oldemiro Júlio Marques Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique,
Your Excellency Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,
Excellencies Co – organisers,
Colleagues Honorable Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I would like to thank the Government and the people of the Republic of Mozambique for graciously hosting this Ministerial meeting and for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to myself and the entire Kenya delegation since our arrival. I also recognize and applaud the role played by the Government of Japan and the other co-organisers in organising and successfully hosting of this meeting.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the President and the people of the Republic of Kenya, I wish to convey sincere appreciation for granting Kenya the great honor of hosting the historic Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Summit, in August last year, the first of its kind to be held in Africa. It is indeed a pleasure to note that the Summit was billed as a huge success. We are grateful.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
TICAD remains a unique process that has contributed immensely to Africa’s development and regional integration agenda. Remarkable progress has been achieved in Kenya and I believe in the rest of Africa since we last met in Nairobi in 2016. Let me mention a few:
- Kenya has continued to make substantial progress in infrastructure development. Some of the recent projects include roads in Nairobi and Mombasa.
- Kenya continues to invest heavily in clean energy projects such as geothermal as well as electricity transmission, and this is done with the support of Japan.
- In Agriculture, efforts has been made to boost food production and increase food and human security. Let me single out projects such as tailor-made research for breeding and cultivation, rice based market oriented agriculture promotion project (RICEMAP) as well as empowerment and improvement of the livelihoods of smallholder horticulture farmers through SHEP PLUS. This has resulted in capacity building for extension staff, training of farmer groups in horticulture production, postharvest handling techniques, gender mainstreaming and group empowerment.
- As we all know, climate change affects agriculture sector productivity. If not addressed, the impact will continue to increase the vulnerability of farming systems and predispose rural households to food insecurity and poverty.
- Various initiatives are also ongoing in the health sector with a view to achieving universal health care.
- Going forward, Kenya supports implementation of new programmes under TICAD in new sectors such as the blue economy which we have identified as a priority sector. We are currently implementing projects in Maritime Education and Training; and Maritime cluster enterprise development (Seafarer’s fund, women in maritime fund and Shipping and Training Maritime Fund).
- It is clear that investing in the Blue Economy provides an opportunity for enhanced cross-border initiatives and hence regional integration. To fully utilise this underutilised resources we must also be aware of the challenges which include inadequate capacity; the lenience of policies to control illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU); Maritime insecurity at Sea (Piracy, armed robbery, illicit trafficking of goods and people); Maritime environmental crimes (Pollution); Maritime boundary disputes (Delimitations).
- Based on our own experience, we recommend that Maritime Development and Capacity Building in Africa be fully integrated ad implemented by TICAD. This would ensure the development of effective framework for the sustainable exploitation of blue economy resources.
- I am pleased to inform that Kenya has put in place the necessary legal framework and mechanisms to engage Japan by creating an enabling environment in the Public and Private sector, as well as with Civil Service Organisations of both countries. Both Kenya and Japan have finalised internal processes for the coming into force of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. So far we have witnessed increased interest by Japanese investors, as well as in increase of inbound and outbound business delegations.
Ladies and Gentlemen
- We appreciate that TICAD was conceptualized at a time when most countries had abandoned Africa and Japan stepped in. It is now obvious that other partners have taken note and are now on a quest to forge similar cooperation with Africa. We therefore commend Japan for setting this trend and urge the government and the people of Japan to remain committed and strengthen this process. We should not deviate from the original ideas on development as conceptualized.
- TICAD remains an open and inclusive forum. I am confident that Africa is on the right and steady path towards development based on the principles of African ownership and international partnership. Indeed, the areas of focus of the TICAD VI resonates well with the Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa’s transformative agenda 2063. I wish to, therefore, reaffirm Kenya’s commitment to the success and sustenance of the TICAD process for posterity and mutual benefit.
I Thank you.