Connecting Japan and Africa with economics, with culture, with dreams.


 Background of Establishment In the 1960’s, many African countries became independent and tried to be economically self-sufficient by utilizing their abundant natural resources. While they demanded investments and technologies from the other countries, Japan was experiencing rapid economic growth and attracted by the African abundant natural resources. Under the circumstances, Association of African Economy and Development Japan (AFRECO) was established by influential people of political and financial circles in 1970 in order to promote economic cooperation among Japan and African countries.

AFRCO (Association of African Economy and Development) is to deepen economic and cultural exchanges and to nurture the friendship between African countries and Japan, and to contribute to mutual prosperity. AFRECO focuses on cooperating economic activities at the grass-root level and on creating projects in African countries which could give economic impacts to the Japanese government and corporations.

Message from the president

 Africa is now considered as the “Last Continent of Hope”, neither supported continent nor “Dark Continent” any more. We Japanese think that “without stability of Africa, the world is not going to build peace” so that we have strengthened the relationship with African countries. African Economy and Development (AFRECO) was set up about 50 years ago by ex-Prime Minister Mr NobusukeKishi who is the grandfather of present Prime Minister Mr Shinzo Abe because he was told that it is necessary to have a bridge between African countries and Japan to promote the economic activities. From the end of 1950’s, independence movements began in Africa, and many countries all over Africa became independent in 1960’s. That was also the time that the world started to show strong interests in Africa’s potentiality, and Japan got strong interests in Africa for the first time, which was called the first resources boom. AFRECO assumed big expectation from the political and business world. Since then, AFRECO has worked on many projects to connect African countries and Japan through economy, and has played important roles. Lately, the history of Africa has been intense. Once Cuban Missile crisis broke out in 1962, proxy wars occurred everywhere in Africa because of East-West opposition and Africa returned to the Dark Continent again. When the fall of Berlin Wall ushered in the post-Cold War period, it seemed that the peace was built in Africa, but in fact, there were countries like Angola that people were not able to enjoy the peace till 2002. Scars of the disputes are still recognized here and there in Africa.
Japan was one of the first countries that made efforts to build the relationship with African countries under such circumstance. In 1993, the first TICAD was held in Tokyo, which contributed to African countries a lot respecting the idea of “Ownership and Partnership.” In the summer 2019, TICAD VII was held in Yokohama, whose three pillars were 1) accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment; 2) deepening sustainable and resilient society; and more than anything 3) Strengthening peace and stability, on which we can say that Japan made a new step forward diplomatically.AFRECO create and support many projects in Africa cooperating with public organizations like MoFA, JICA, JETRO and JBIC. Since TICAD6, we have especially focused on the medical field. As a result, we signed the general MOUs with University of Dodoma, Tanzania and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in order to develop their school of medicine as well as clinics. We are also planning other projects such as collaboration with bio medical engineer school in Tunisia and Noguchi Memorial Institute for medical Research in Ghana.AFRECO also pays close attention to stability and peace in Africa since a big change comes: in 2018, Eritrea and Ethiopia together started to step forward for peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa. This movement could be the cue to solve some issues in Africa and affect the world economy, society and politics.Observing African development and change, AFRECO continuously makes efforts to strengthen the relationship between African countries and Japan. Thank you for your kind understanding and support to our association.

Tetsuro Yano,President of AFRECO