Japan’s PM pledges support to Africa

Story: News Desk

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday pledged during a meeting with Ghana’s leader to provide around $500 million in financial support to Africa over the next three years to promote peace and stability on the continent.

Kishida and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo also confirmed the importance of providing transparent and fair development finance, apparently drawing a contrast with China’s so-called “debt trap” finance where recipient countries are saddled with heavy loans they cannot repay.

Following their talks in the Ghanaian capital, Kishida said at a joint press conference that economic growth “cannot be achieved without peace and stability,” promising to support countries in the Sahel region of Africa, which continues to face threats from Islamic extremists.

Kishida, who is making a weeklong tour of Africa from Saturday, added he will hold discussions on the region at the Group of Seven summit in his home constituency of Hiroshima later this month. The Sahel is located in the southern part of the Sahara Desert.

On the diplomatic front, Kishida and Akufo-Addo criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sharing the view that any act that runs counter to the U.N. Charter and its call for all members to refrain from the threat or use of force is unacceptable.

With Japan and Ghana both currently serving as non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Kishida also agreed with Akufo-Addo to work closely to address the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

Kishida vowed to support Ghana in fields such as investment from Japan, infrastructure and human resource development, increasing rice production, and food security.

Akufo-Addo said Ghana has consistently voted for resolutions at the U.N. General Assembly condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, emphasizing that it is unacceptable for a major power to disregard the sovereignty of a smaller nation.

Meanwhile, Akufo-Addo expressed readiness to improve Ghana’s fiscal health with the African country struggling to meet its debt obligations.

Kishida’s first trip to Africa since taking office in October 2021 comes as he tries to boost ties with the “Global South” — a term that collectively refers to developing nations in areas including Asia, Africa and Latin America — ahead of the G-7 summit.

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