TOKYO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT
5-6 OCTOBER 1993
TOKYO DECLARATION ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT "Towards the 21st Century" We, the participants of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), consisting of African countries and Africa's development partners, declare with one voice our continued dedication to the development of Africa towards a new era of prosperity. We, therefore, solemnly adopt the present Declaration, in the firm belief that it will serve to strengthen an emerging new partnership for sustainable development of Africa based on self- reliance of African countries and the support of Africa's development partners. Background 1. Africa's economic and social crises of the 1980s highlighted the development challenges faced by this Continent. To address these challenges, many African countries have embarked on far-reaching political and economic reforms. We, the participants of TICAD, are encouraged by signs in recent years of both positive macro-economic performance and political development resulting from those reforms. In so doing, we nevertheless recognize the continued fragility and vulnerability of Africa's political and economic structures and situations that inhibit the achievement of sustainable development. TICAD intends to give further impetus to these reforms, taking into account the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF). 2. With the end of the Cold War, African countries and the international community now have an opportunity to share a broader common understanding of the need for dynamic development cooperation. The development of the Continent has emerged as an imperative in our search for a better future. 3. While special consideration should be given to obstacles confronting Africa, we are determined to strengthen our collective forward-looking efforts for the development of the Continent. This has been the spirit in which we have conducted our deliberations on the issues central to sustainable development in Africa. 4. These issues include the on-going process of simultaneous political and economic reforms, the necessity of increased private sector participation in domestic economic activity, the promotion of regional cooperation and integration, and the detrimental effects of humanitarian emergencies on Africa's socio-economic development. We recognize that the Asian experience of economic development and the catalytic role of international cooperation offer hope and provide a challenge for African economic transformation. Political and Economic Reforms 5. Convinced of the advent of a new international era, we, the African participants, reaffirm our commitment to pursue and further strengthen political and economic reforms, in particular democratization, respect for human rights, good governance, human and social development, and economic diversification and liberalization. To achieve sustainable, broad-based economic growth, we, the participants of TICAD, believe that more open, accountable and participatory political systems are vital, including a stronger role for civil society. We recognize that political, economic and social reforms must be initiated and carried out by African countries themselves, based on their visions, values and individual socio-economic background. Africa's development partners should therefore support African initiatives in these areas. 6. We, the participants of TICAD, recognize that simultaneous implementation of political and economic reforms, while conducive to development, may often entail painful transition processes. The interaction between political and economic reforms, which over time should be mutually reinforcing, is a complicated process which requires support to bring about progress. We, Africa's development partners, reaffirm our commitment to providing priority support to countries undertaking effective and efficient political and economic reforms. We, the participants of TICAD, also reaffirm our commitment to enhancing constructive dialogue to facilitate the reform processes. 7. We, the African participants, reaffirm our commitment to improving the quality of governance, in particular, transparency and accountability in public administration. We recognize that criteria for public expenditure should aim at enhancing overall socio-economic development and reducing non- productive expenditures. The building of human and institutional capacities for sustaibale development is essential for all of these objectives. We commit ourselves to creating the enabling environment for training, retaining and effective utilization of human resources and improving institutional capacities. We, Africa's development partners, will enhance our support for African capacity building including improved technical assistance. 8. We, the participants of TICAD, reaffirm that structural adjustment programmes should take more actively into consideration the specific conditions and requirements of individual countries. We reiterate that political and economic reforms should ultimately lead to the alleviation of poverty and enhanced welfare of the entire population. To that effect, structural adjustment programmes should contain, more than in the past, measures to improve the access of the poor in particular to income earning opportunities and to effective social services, while seeking to shield them as far as possible from adverse social consequences. Increased priority should be given to investment in human capital through nutrition, health and education programmes, especially to improve the situation of women and children. Additionally, noting that the overall economic development in Africa has not kept pace with Africa's rapid population growth, we recognize the importance of sound population policies and call upon African Governments and the international community to address this issue within the socio- economic development process. Economic Development through Activities of the Private Sector 9. The private sector is vital as an engine for sustainable development. We, the participants of TICAD, agree that though foreign aid has an impact on development, its role is only supplementary in magnitude and catalytic in nature. We recognize that a workable and practical cooperation between government and the private sector is a key factor for development. A climate of trust between these two actors should be encouraged and interaction promoted. We realize that political and economic stability is a prerequisite to commitments for long-term investments. 10. We, the African participants, are determined to continue policies which foster a greater role for the private sector and which encourage entrepreneurship. While stepping up deregulation measures, we will provide and maintain, in cooperation with our development partners, physical infrastructure and viable administrative, legal and financial institutions. We consider in general the informal sector as a source of vitality for African economies which deserves support in order to further mobilize entrepreneurial capacity, generate employment, and to facilitate the transition into the formal economy. 11. We, the participants of TICAD, are convinced that further improvements in financial systems and practices are needed to stimulate domestic savings investment, and to prevent and reverse capital flight. 12. In support of these efforts, we, Africa's development partners, shall continue to provide assistance in order to improve the enabling environment which requires economic reforms and privatization, the building of human and institutional capacities, and the development of financial intermediation. We recognize the importance of appropriate insurance and guarantee schemes to protect private enterprises investing in Africa from political and economic risks. 13. We, the African participants, affirm the central importance of international trade to our future development prospect. We, Africa's development partners, will work to facilitate market access for African products globally and to assist in up-grading and diversifying African exports. We, the participants of TICAD, support the vital role of private associations such as the African Business Round-Table and confirm the usefulness of investment - and trade-promotion initiatives within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world. Regional Cooperation and Integration 14. We, the African participants, reaffirm our vision and aspiration for ultimate regional integration and cooperation goals as embodied in the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community. We, the participants of TICAD, realize that although these goals have been, since the early years of independence, a logical development strategy for African countries, most of which have small national markets, greater efforts must now be made in promoting inter-regional trade and investment. 15. We, the African participants, will ensure that our commitments to regional schemes are fully incorporated in our national development plans, policies and programmes. 16. We, Africa's development partners, welcome and support the renewed commitment to regional cooperation and integration as has been recently demonstrated by African countries. These regional arrangements should continue to be consistent with the multilateral open trading system, and contribute to trade expansion. We will continue to extend our support to African countries' efforts aimed at reducing obstacles to integration through measures such as reduction of trade and investment barriers and policy harmonization, and to viable regional endeavours particularly in the area of infrastructure development and capacity building. We, the participants of TICAD, believe that regional integration should also be pursued by encouraging private sector initiatives, adopting consistent and gradual approaches for broadening exchanges and rationalizing existing schemes. Emergency Relief and Development 17. We, the participants of TICAD, note with great concern that over the last two decades, and particularly in recent years, that a large number of African countries have suffered and are still suffering from natural and man- made disasters. The international community has responded generously to these situations since the early crises in the 1970s. 18. These disasters have constrained development in many African countries, destroyed the very basis for development, increased the number of refugees, and diverted human and financial resources that otherwise could have served development purposes. 19. We, the participants of TICAD, realize that man-made disasters are the result of a complex interplay of political, economic and social factors. In this context, lack of democratization and respect for human rights and the rights of minorities are among the root causes of these disasters. 20. We, the participants of TICAD, accept that responsibility for disaster prevention and management rests primarily with Africans themselves. We, the African participants, are therefore determined to devote our efforts to addressing the root causes of these disasters. We also confirm the critical role of regional cooperation as demonstrated in the past. We, the participants of TICAD, underscore the need to establish effective mechanisms for prevention, preparedness and management of man-made and natural disasters in general, and to strengthen food security schemes in particular. We, therefore, welcome the decision of the Organization of African Unity to establish the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution and pledge our support to strengthen the effective functioning of this mechanism. We also reaffirm our willingness to assist victims of disasters, and urge the removal of all hindrances to effective distribution of relief supplies. 21. We, Africa's development partners, having recognized that there is a continuum between emergency relief and development, will ensure that the humanitarian assistance for the affected communities continue to be provided for resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Asian Experience and African Development 22. Over the past 30 years, in contrast to Africa, the countries of East and South-East Asia have achieved high rates of growth in per capita income. We, the participants of TICAD, are mindful that in view of the differing international and internal conditions no one model of development can be simply transferred from one region to another. Nevertheless, we acknowledge some relevance of the Asian experience for African development. The very diversity of successful Asian countries gives hope that lessons can be drawn for African development. 23. We, the participants of TICAD, have noted that as demonstrated by the successful examples of the Asian development experience, the backdrop of development success lies in the combination of a strong commitment by the leadership and the people to economic prosperity, appropriate long-term development strategies and functional government adminstration to pursue these strategies coherently. 24. We have also noted that the policy factors which contributed to the remarkable performance of East and South-East Asia have included (1) the rational application of macro-economic policies and maintenance of political stability, (2) the promotion of agricultural production through technological research and innovations as solid basis for socio-economic development, (3) long-term investment in education and human resource development as priority of development strategy, (4) market-friendly and export-led policies to advance and adapt modes of production in order to increase opportunities for trade and economic growth, (5) measures to stimulate domestic savings and capital formation by developing financial intermediation and by expansion of banking services at the community level, (6) policy emphasis on the private sector as an engine of growth and development, and (7) early implementation of land reform. 25. We, the participants of TICAD, recognize that development achievement in East and South-East Asia have enhanced opportunities for South-South cooperation with Africa. We welcome the interest shown by some Asian and African countries in promoting this cooperation. International Cooperation 26. We, the participants of TICAD, have concluded that the current situation in Africa calls for increased solidarity among us to act in full partnership to address this situation. This new partnership should be based on Africa's objective to achieve self-reliance on the one hand and responsive support by Africa's development partners on the other. 27. We, the participants of TICAD, agree that stability and security are prerequisites to sustainable development, and that it is essential to make efficient use of scarce resources and to minimize military and other unproductive expenditures. 28. We, the participants of TICAD, realize that development calls for full participation by the people at all levels, who should be galvanized toward action as agents for progress. In this regard, we acknowledge the dynamic and diversified role of African women in various sectors of the economy and recommend that special measures by taken to promote their rights and roles in order to enhance gender equity and to remove all legal, social and cultural barriers for advancement of women. Furthermore, we recognize the need to enhance cooperative efforts with local NGOs and other institutions of civil society which play constructive roles for African development. 29. We, Africa's development partners, will make all efforts to enhance development assistance to Africa, despite current global economic difficulties. This assistance will be increasingly oriented toward the priorities set by African countries. In making commitments to continued and enhanced cooperation, we will take into account the expectation of our constituencies that resources by spent where they are most efficiently utilized for the greatest development impact. 30. As African countries are at various stages of development, and have different cultural and historical backgrounds, we, Africa's development partners, may take differentiated approaches as we plan and implement our development cooperation, with due regard to aid coordination. 31. We, Africa's development partners, will apply a comprehensive approach covering aid, trade, debt strategy and investments. We, the participants of TICAD, reaffirm that debt and debt service still pose serious difficulties to many African countries. We emphasize the necessity to urgently address the debt issue within the overall context of debt relief and flows of new financial resources for development. We confirm the validity of the international debt strategy and invite the Paris Club to continue reviewing the question of debt relief for the poorest highly-indebted countries, especially with regard to earlier reductions in the stock of debt on a case by case basis. We urge creditor countries to take into account the difficulties that heavily indebted African countries are now facing. 32. We, the participants of TICAD, reiterate the importance of a successful conclusion to the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations and will make all efforts to remove trade barriers and other trade practices that prevent the expansion of African exports including exports to other African countries. We underscore the importance of primary commodities for many African countries' export earning and the need for diversification to reduce the volatility of these earnings. 33. We, the participants of TICAD, confirm that United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) agreements should be steadfastly implemented with a special emphasis on balanced relationships among agriculture, population and environment policies, particularly drought and desertification. 34. We also recognize that many of the gains made in Africa are threatened by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and related diseases which are already of a disastrous proportion in some countries. There is a need for a much stronger response by Africa and its development partners, for preventing and controlling these diseases including caring facilities as well as measures addressing its socio-economic impacts. Follow-up 35. We, the participants of TICAD, pledge to take, in our respective spheres of responsibility, measures aimed at advancing the spirit of this Declaration through effective policies and actions. We have entrusted the three co- organizers of TICAD with evaluating and reviewing progress made towards the implementation of this Declaration. Ultimately, we intend to hold a conference of a similar magnitude and membership at the latest before the turn of the century. * * * * * By virtue of the deliberations, guidance and consensus of the conference we believe that prospects for significant development of Africa have been greatly enhanced.
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Date last posted: 14December 1999 14:26:35