The world gathered in Nairobi once again. Kenya has officially become the first African country to host the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) since its inception in 1993. The sixth session of the conference was held at the KICC, Nairobi from 26th to 28th August 2016.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Advancing Africa’s sustainable development agenda-TICAD partnership for prosperity’. TICAD began in 1993 and has been serving as a pioneering multilateral forum for international cooperation on African development. It has previously been held in Japan every five years during which time African states, Japan and their partners tackled the goals set at previous meetings.
However, at the last TICAD meeting in 2013 in Yokohama, it was decided that the conference should be held triennially and alternate between Japan and Africa to better address the rapid growth of the African economies. The conference’s sixth session (TICADVI) attracted Heads of State from 35 African countries, the Prime Minister of Japan HE Shinzo Abe, and various dignitaries of organizations such as the African Union Commission, African Development Bank, the World Bank, and the United Nations. The choice of Nairobi to host this unique gathering is a major stamp of international approval. It does confirm Kenya’s increasing standing and importance among the comity of nations and the confidence many have in the country.
TICAD VI for the first time in its history featured an interactive session between Heads of State and representatives of the business and private sector, a decision that was made at Yokohama during TICAD V that specifically recognizes the Private Sector as the engine of growth. The conference addressed key issues such as overall continental economic growth agenda, Africa’s infrastructural development program, agriculture and farming, peace and security and addressed questions of social inclusivity. This year’s session featured the Japanese and African Pavilions in which companies and organizations from all over the world showcased their products and services. At the end of the conference, the Nairobi Declaration was adopted which set out the work for TICAD for the next 3 years, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged that Japan will mobilize a total of $3 billion in private and public sector funds to invest in Africa over three years to boost infrastructure building in the continent. Business deals were signed, agreements made and overall, it was a successful conference. All eyes were on Nairobi and once again, it has shown its brilliance!