ASIA-AFRICA COOPERATION

In 1991, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF). In support of this Agenda, the Government of Japan announced before the General Assembly its intention to organize in 1993 the first Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD I) (English) (French) to strengthen an emerging new partnership for sustainable development in Africa. 

TICAD I was held in Tokyo from 5-6 October, 1993, and addressed Africa's critical development issues, reached a consensus on the development priorities to be pursued. In the context of the discussion on the relevance to Africa of the development and achievements in Asian countries, the Conference called for increased South-South Cooperation between Asia and Africa.

As immediate follow-up to TICAD, the first Asia-Africa Forum (AAF I) was held in Bandung, Indonesia, from 12-16 December, 1994. The Forum, which was coorganized by the Governments of Indonesia and Japan, the United Nations and the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA), was attended by representatives of 37 African and 6 Asian countries, 14 African and Asian institutions, and 7 UN and other international organizations. Representatives from donor and other developing countries also attended. It enabled African countries to exchange views and experiences with Asian countries and concluded with the adoption of the Bandung Framework for Asia-Africa Cooperation: Working Together Towards the Twenty-first Century. In the Bandung Framework, specific recommendations were made in the areas of human resources and institutional development; enhancing productivity in the agricultural sector; and financing development. The Forum recommended institutional networking between Asian and African countries in the fields of macroeconomics, human resource development, trade and investment, agricultural development, and research.

Following the first Asia-Africa Forum, two Regional Workshops were held in order to implement the Principles of the Tokyo Declaration respectively for Eastern and Southern Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe, in July, 1995, and for Western and Central Africa in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire in July, 1996. The broad objective of these regional workshops was to provide a forum, among African countries, on ways and means of operationalizing the principles of the Tokyo Declaration on African Development. The discussions focused on the priority areas of the Tokyo Declaration, namely, peace, stability and development, including governance and conflict prevention; human resource development and capacity building; private sector development; and Asia-Africa cooperation. See the List of Publications for the outcomes of these two workshops.

The second Asia-Africa Forum (AAF II) was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 11-13 June, 1997. The objective of this Forum was two-fold: (1) to provide input to the preparatory process of TICAD II and (2) to enhance Asia-Africa co-operation through a dialogue on critical development issues. The Forum was coorganized by the Governments of Thailand and Japan, the United Nations and the GCA, and was attended by representatives from 44 African and 11 Asian countries, 12 donor countries, 10 international organizations and four research institutions. The Forum adopted the Bangkok Statement on Furthering Asia-Africa Cooperation in the specific areas of capacity building, sustainable agricultural development and food security, and private sector development.

The Asia-Africa Forum meetings held in Bandung and Bangkok paved the way for organizing dialogues and consultations on sectoral issues. Accordingly, a number of sectoral meetings were held on specific areas for Asia-Africa cooperation. These include:

Asia-Africa Forum on Combating Desertification
Asia-Africa Forum on Empowerment of Women
Forum on Asia-Africa Cooperation in Export Promotion


The second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II) was held from 19-21 October, 1998. It was attended by representatives of 80 countries and 40 international organizations. In addition to Ministers, fourteen Heads of State and Prime Ministers from Africa and Asia participated. The Conference adopted the Tokyo Agenda for Action (English) (French), which identifies critical areas for African development, namely, social development, private sector development, agriculture and the environment, governance, and the resolution of conflict as constituting the foundations for development. The Agenda defines policy goals and objectives and calls for specific actions to be taken by African countries and their development partners.

The first Regional Review Meeting of the Tokyo Agenda for Action for the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development was held in Lusaka, Zambia, from 23-25 November 1999 for Eastern and Southern African countries. The meeting was attended by representatives of 22 African countries, 5 Asian countries, and 28 donor and international organizations, as well as participants from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and from the private sector. The primary objectives of the meeting were to: assess progress in the implementation of the Tokyo Agenda for Action in the area of social development against the targets set in 1998 and to share experience and knowledge in carrying out priority actions with a view to overcoming constraints and identifying best practices. 

Following the adoption of the Tokyo Agenda for Action by TICAD II, the third Asia-Africa Forum (AAF III) was convened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 23-25 May 2000. It was co-organized by the Governments of Malaysia and Japan, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (UN/OSCAL) and the Global Coalition for Africa. This Forum was attended by 10 Asian countries, 13 donor countries and 11 other international, regional and sub-regional organizations. This Forum was held to establish new networks and to identify and strengthen existing networks of institutions which would serve as a means for implementing an array of co-operative activities at capacity development in the fields of agriculture and private sector development. This Forum culminated with the adoption of Kuala Lumpur New Millennium Statement for Asia-Africa cooperation.

The Africa-Asia Business Forum (AABF) is one of the important follow-up activities relating to the implementation of the Tokyo Agenda for Action. The Africa-Asia Business Forum (AABF) sought to bring together business representatives from selected countries in Africa with their counterparts from selected countries in Asia for the purpose of stimulating enterprise to enterprise deals and exchanges, mainly through the creation of joint ventures and other intercorporate linkages. 

The first Africa-Asia Business Forum (AABF I) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 25-29 October 1999. The Forum was sponsored by the Government of Japan through the Japanese Human Resource Development Fund (JHRDF), Government of Malaysia and by the UNDP through its Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (SU-TCDC). The UN system organizations participated included MIGA (Member of the World Bank Group), OSCAL/DESA, UNIDO, UNCTAD, ITC, UN/OPS OSCAL/DESA. Other organizations that participated were Enterprise Africa, EMPRETEC Ghana, and several Chambers of Commerce, Trade Associations and Business Organizations. Altogether about 350 business participated from 25 African and 6 Asian countries. 

The AABF was organized at two levels: the first level was the one-to-one meetings of African and Asian business representatives; the second level was the seminars relating to the policies and incentives provided by the African countries for trade and investment. During the Forum, the Prime Minister of Malaysia opened the Asia-Africa Investment Technology Investment Centre (AAITCP) in Malaysia. AAITCP will serve as a centre for electronic communication for trade and investment opportunities between Asia and specially targeted African countries, namely, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. If successful, this bridge will be extended to other African countries. In addition to being a centre for electronic communication for investment and technology, the AAIPTC will also proactively promote and give support to all Asian businessmen seeking business opportunity in Africa and vice-versa. The outcome of the Forum was the signing of MOUs worth US$ 20 million. The deals covered mainly textiles, pharmaceuticals, information technology and furniture manufacture. The greatest achievement of AABF I in Kuala Lumpur was the fact that the process has created a mass awareness of Africa and the vast opportunities for prospective business from Asia.

The second Africa-Asia Business Forum (AABF II) was organized in Durban, South Africa from 8-14 July 2001 by the Government of South Africa and the UNDP/TCDC. The objective of the Forum was primarily to provide a platform for African and Asian investors for forging industrial collaborations. The Forum brought together 447 participants, which included private sector (more than 200 companies), policy-makers, and the United Nations system organizations that participated were the DESA/OSCAL, UNCTAD, ITC, UNIDO, World bank (MIGA) and UNDP (SU-TCDC, SU-TICAD, Africa Bureau). The highlight of the Forum was the signing of 104 MOUs worth US$ 80 million between the private sectors of African and Asian countries, of which 22 were intra-African. The industrial collaborations were mostly in the small and medium industries covering areas such as IT, agro-processing, textiles, educational materials and equipment, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing industries. 

The preparatory meeting for the TICAD Ministerial-level Conference was held on 30 and 31 October 2001 in Dakar, Senegal. The preparatory meeting was attended by 199 participants, representing 48 African countries, 19 partner countries (5 Asian countries) and 25 international, regional and sub-regional organizations. It was opened by Mr. Nobutake Odano, Director-General for African Affairs, Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the meeting Mr. Odano announced that the Ministerial-level Meeting in Tokyo will be held on 3 and 4 December 2001. H.E. Mr. Adboulaye Diop, Minister of Economy
and Finance of Senegal delivered the keynote address. Mr. Diop thanked the co-organizers to have chosen his country to host the preparatory meeting. He called on participants to examine ways and means to contribute to African countries' capacity-building that would enable them to better benefit from opportunities provided by globalization. The co-organizers, OSCAL, UNDP, GCA and the World Bank, also made opening statements. In his presentation on behalf of Ms. Yvette Stevens, Special Coordinator of OSCAL, Mr. Emmanuel Goued Njayick traced the evolution of TICAD and its contribution to the implementation of UN-NADAF and the value-added of its process. 

The objective of the Dakar preparatory meeting was twofold: (i) to review at the technical level, progress achieved in the TICAD process and (ii) to finalize the documentation for the Tokyo Ministerial-level Meeting. It also provided an opportunity to the partner countries and international organizations to be briefed on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) launched by African leaders. 

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Ministerial-level meeting was held on 3 and 4 December, 2001, in Tokyo, Japan. This meeting was organized in the context of the high level dialogues promoted by the TICAD process. It aimed to relaunch the implementation of the Tokyo Agenda for Action adopted in October 1998 through the review of efforts accomplished, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and on exchange of views on thematic themes and approaches underlying African development.  The meeting was co-organized by the Government of Japan, UN-OSCAL, UNDP, Global Coalition for Africa and the World Bank. Ms. Yvette Stevens, Special Coordinator, led the OSCAL team composed of Messrs Emmanuel Goued Njayick and Abraham Joseph.

The outcome of the meeting was the Chairman's Statement, which, inter alia, endorsed that of the preparatory meeting held in Dakar on 30 and 31 October 2001. The Government of Japan supported by co-organizes announced that TICAD III would be held in the latter half of 2003. A press conference involving all the co-organizers and President Alpha Konare of Mali was held following the closing of the meeting.

The Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) was held in Tokyo from 29 September to 1 October 2003 (Click here for more details; Click here for further documentation on TICAD III, including the Chair's Summary and the TICAD Tenth Anniversary Declaration can be obtained at URL).