Japan Earmarks $30 Billion in Support for Infrastructure Development in Africa

Japan announced it will invest $30 billion in support of Africa’s economic growth and infrastructure over the next three years.

The pledge was made by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Japan-Africa economic summit in Nairobi, as Tokyo competes for influence in the continent with the U.S., China and former European colonial powers such as Britain and France.

Japan, which invested $47 billion on the continent over the past 23 years, wants to connect Africa and Asia through sea lanes, Abe said.

The pledged amount includes $10bn in infrastructure growth, while an extra $20bn will be invested by Japan’s private sector. In this respect, Tokyo will cooperate with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to boost private sector investment on the continent struggling with intermittent power outages, dilapidated infrastructure, poor sanitation and grinding poverty.

Some 30 African heads of state took part in the two-day Japan-Africa summit, which ended Sunday with the signing of about 70 agreements.

The goal of the conference, organised jointly by the United Nations, the African Union, the World Bank and Japan, is to boost trade and aid to Africa, with Japan hoping to increase its influence in the continent.

China, whose investments in sub-Saharan nations have increased 40-fold since 2003, pledged $60 billion for the continent at a similar summit by President Xi Ping in South Africa last year

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