Connecting Japan and Africa with economics, culture and dreams


In the 1960s, 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 was attracted by the African great natural resources. Under the circumstances, the Association of African Economic and Development Japan (AFRECO) was established by influential political and financial circles in 1970 to promote economic cooperation among Japan and African countries.
AFRCO is to deepen economic and cultural exchanges, nurture the friendship between African countries and Japan, and contribute to mutual prosperity. AFRECO focuses on cooperating economic activities at the grassroots level and on creating projects in African countries that could have economic impacts on the Japanese government and corporations.

Toward TICAD8

In 2022, Tunisia will hold the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8).
It has been more than a quarter of a century since Japan organized the first TICAD conference. The theme of TICAD remains the development of Africa, the most significant frontier of the 21st century. There is a growing trend to promote investment by the private sector, rather than just promoting exchange between countries, fostering technology and human resources, and providing financial support as in the past. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a severe problem in Africa, and there is an urgent need to improve the medical and health sector and their infrastructure.
I believe that it is essential to work with the people of Africa to develop a system and put it into practice using Japanese technology.
It will encourage African countries to be self-sustainable. Since TICAD7, we have been seeking to build relationships with development banks in African countries. We have signed an MOU with the Southern African Development Community – Development Finance Resources Center (SADC-DFRC) and strengthened our ties with the Asian External Representation Office of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). We try to find ways for Japanese corporations to expand into Africa without relying on the government alone.
Today, African countries face many challenges such as excessive debt, environmental issues, weak infrastructure, and poverty. All of them are becoming more and more significant due to the spread of COVID-19. Suppose the future is not far away when one out of every four people in the world's population will live on the African continent. We should tackle these issues as if they were our own. Together with our partners in Africa, we will continue to think about and build trusting relationships and strive to contribute to the development of Africa.

Tetsuro Yano,President of AFRECO