President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has acknowledged with appreciation Japan’s support to African Development and the role played by JICA in supporting compacts under TICAD.
According to a dispatch from Nairobi, President Sirleaf was speaking on Sunday, August 28, in Nairobi, Kenya when she addressed a TICAD High Level Event on the theme: “Africa, towards 2063 and beyond.”
President Sirleaf underscored Japan’s evolving role in the paradigm shift in Africa – the rekindling of the passion for pan Africanism – a sense of unity, self-reliance, integration and solidarity.
She used the occasion to reiterate the Common African position – that focuses on “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”.
According to President Sirleaf, Africa 2063 Agenda epitomizes a commitment toward the paradigm shift, a consensus in economic and political integration.
Africa 2063 Agenda, she added: “Established a pragmatic long term framework, a sense of direction and a platform aimed at accelerating progress to achieve by the year 2063, the Africa we want, while noting that the first Ten-Year Implementation starts the process.
She stressed: “Looking into the future; the population of Africa stands as the most important potential and risk of the continent toward 2063; while its demographic structure transforms slowly”.
She said although estimates suggest that the continent’s prospected population will reach 2 billion in 2050, however reckoned that its working age population will exceed China in 2020 and India in 2030. President Sirleaf furthered that: “In the coming decades, Africa’s potential will shift to human capital from natural resource and commodity. Future demographic changes, especially growing youth and middle-class, and rapid urbanization will bring opportunities and challenges to the current socio-economic structure of Africa.”
She added that while poverty in African population has been declining, it still exceeds 300 million. As such, she observed “To achieve the eradication of poverty by 2030, the first priority target of the SDG’s and the Agenda 2063, requires that not only should we accelerate growth, but also to create jobs, increase labor productivity, narrow income gaps; etc.; in a world to promote “Quality Growth.”
This, she proffered would require new thinking, new role, new responsibility, and new partnerships with the private sector, which is the engine and the catalyst for job creating growth. This further requires a shifting of traditional but declining Official Development Assistance (ODA) to an alignment with priorities that accelerate the growth of the private sector.