In August this year Kenya will host the first Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) to be held on African soil. The conference, which will be held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) from 27th-28th August, is expected to attract Presidents from numerous African countries and the global leadership of key international development organizations such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and United Nations (UN) organizations. TICAD will provide the opportunity for the continent, and in particular Kenya, to strengthen the ties between Africa and Japan as well as other global partners who support the efforts to develop and grow sustainable economies on the continent. TICAD was initiated in 1993 by the Government of Japan with the aim of promoting peace and security within Africa through development. It seeks to strengthen relations in multilateral cooperation and the partnership between Japan and African states. It has subsequently grown into a major global multilateral forum for mobilizing international support for Africa’s development in mutually beneficial terms, as opposed to the tired path of aid disbursement and aid dependence. TICAD facilitates high level dialogue between African leaders and global development partners and it is one of the oldest forums for discussion on Africa’s development among multinational stakeholders. TICAD is expected to improve and increase funding for development projects all over Africa, particularly those from the Government of Japan. Over the years, Japan has funded several development projects in Kenya to the tune of around KSh469.5 billion. The colossal sum of money provided to Kenya in the form of grants and loans through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) demonstrates deepening and strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations, and provides an example of development best practice. The TICAD Conference adds to the ever expanding list of high profile events that Kenya is attracting in recent times. In July, Kenya successfully hosted the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) attended personally by US President Obama, which was a huge success and has attracted massive investment opportunities for Kenya, especially from the United States. This was followed in November by a visit and Mass from Pope Francis and in December 2015 by the 10th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference.

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University of NairobiICT