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Japan: Minister Kanda praises AfDB President and underscores the Bank’s strategic impact in an unprecedented visit

Masato Kanda, Japan’s Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, visited the African Development Bank headquarters on Thursday, the first such visit, signifying his country’s commitment to partnering to drive development across Africa.

Kanda affirmed Japan’s intent to continue supporting the Bank’s poverty reduction and resilience-building interventions amid global challenges. His delegation, including aides and advisors, met for discussions with the President of the Bank Group Dr Akinwumi Adesina. Also present was the Bank Group’s Executive Director for Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Austria and Saudi Arabia, Takaaki Nomoto.

“The world is now facing tremendous challenges from poverty reduction, combating climate change, a huge amount of infrastructure needs…And the geopolitical situation is really difficult. And now the strategic importance of the African Development Bank is even more enhanced,” he said.

Applauding Adesina, Vice Minister Kanda said, “The status of the African Development Bank has increased globally under President Adesina’s strong leadership,” noting further, “we have strong confidence in your leadership of the African Development Bank”.

Adesina lauded Japan’s substantial contributions. “Japan provided a significant amount of money for us for the African Development Fund, $604 million,” he said. “Additionally, Japan donated over $421 million in the form of concessional donor loans, which allowed us to have a very successful ADF 16th replenishment,” the Bank president noted.

Discussions also centred on innovative approaches like hybrid capital and Special Drawing Rights to enhance the Bank’s impact.

Kanda’s visit also fell on Japan’s National Day, Adesina noted. “This is the first time that a Vice Minister of Finance of Japan will visit the headquarters of the African Development Bank, so I feel tremendously honoured that the minister is here.”

“Japan is committed to helping the African Development Bank to contribute further in mitigating these humanities challenges,” Kanda said, emphasizing the Bank’s strategic importance under Dr Adesina. He described Thursday’s discussions as “constructive”.

In August 2022, the Bank and Japan launched a $5 billion financial cooperation under the fifth phase of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative covering 2023-2025, which Adesina noted is progressing well.

Adesina also mentioned &Capital (link is external), a $100 million Japanese impact fund for which the African Development Bank will contribute $10 million of equity. The fund was launched by Ken Shibusawa, CEO of Shibusawa & Company Inc., who is also a Director of Keizai Doyukai, the Japanese association of corporate executives.

Japan’s support extends to co-creating an investment ecosystem with the African Development Bank. This effort gathered momentum at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) held in Tunisia in August 2022. Adesina’s follow-up visit to Japan in April 2023 further strengthened ties. During that visit, he addressed the Japan-Africa Investment Ecosystem Co-Creation Forum, calling on Japanese businesses to invest more in Africa.

source: afdb.org

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