What is TICAD?
Since the inception of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 1993, the vital alliance between UNDP and Japan has further deepened. As a founding co-organizer of TICAD, UNDP is committed to the success of TICAD, which has thrived since inception as a pioneering international forum on Africa’s development since 1993, because of its open, multi-stakeholder and inclusive dialogue towards meeting the changing development needs of the continent. From TICAD I and its 1000 participants in Tokyo in 1993, to TICAD VII held in Tokyo in 2019 that attracted 10,000 participants, TICAD has grown into a major forum on African development.
TICAD process reflects UNDP’s foundational belief that sustainable development can only happen with the full participation of a range of partners, including governments, regional and international organization, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society. All these stakeholders must be involved if development initiatives have any hope of flourishing. For example, under the SDGs, we have witnessed the private sector’s ability to take on a broader, more integrated and concrete roles in achieving the 2030 Agenda’s vision of a low carbon, climate resilient, peaceful, and socially inclusive world.
Our work in TICAD VII 2019
With the theme, “Advancing Africa’s Development through People, Technology and Innovation”, TICAD VII welcomed around 10,000 representatives from 53 African Union Member States, including 42 Heads of States, regional and international organizations, private sectors of both Africa and Japan, parliamentarians, civil society organizations and development partners from around the world.
Throughout the TICAD VII, UNDP’s commitment to African development was well demonstrated and revitalized through the enhanced partnership between Japan and Africa. Reaffirming the importance of multi-stakeholder engagement, UNDP established new partnerships with the launch of three agreements: 1) JICA-JETRO-UNDP Tripartite partnership; 2) JETRO-UNDP partnership (MOU) and 3) Japan Association of Corporate Executives (DOYUKAI). The partnership between JETRO-JICA-UNDP was successfully climaxed with the organization of a joint side event during TICAD VII. The event demonstrated concrete examples of partnerships by connecting startups and potential partners and investors.
Also, UNDP Signature solution was fully showcased through UNDP’s participation at diverse events in the area of human capital development, youth entrepreneurship, volunteerism, STI, civil society, digitalization, universal health coverage, blue economy, and peace and stability.
Lastly, the TICAD VII adopted two TICAD Outcome Documents, Yokohama Declaration and Yokohama Plan of Action 2019 as well as the launch of the New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa, NAPSA. NAPSA identifies specific areas of co-operation to prevent conflicts, resolve current conflicts and promote peace, security and stability within the framework of African solutions to African problems, at all levels. UNDP as a co-organizer is committed to continue supporting the implementation of TICAD VII priority actions.
Integrated within the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) at the UND Headquarters in New York, , the TICAD Unit coordinates UNDP’s engagement in the organization of successive TICAD meetings and plays major roles in the enhancement of the TICAD process through e.g., (a) making substantive contributions to the formulation and the finalization of strategic agendas, (b) identifying, formulating and implementing country and regional projects in support of TICAD priorities, (c) facilitating the effective management of TICAD follow-up actions and preparatory processes among coorganizers and stakeholders, including operational, logistical, communication and advocacy supports.
UNDP-Japan Funded project
Over the years, Japan has contributed to socio-economic development in Africa, offering a wealth of business and investment opportunities in agriculture, education, energy infrastructure, manufacturing, and smart cities. Through its strong partnership with UNDP, Japan has built valuable public-private partnerships in the Sub-Saharan region, as evidenced by the number of ongoing and new initiatives launched through the TICAD process. Since the inception of TICAD, the level of growth in the continent has risen significantly, with some African countries and institutions deepening economic integration and partnership across board. With the longstanding collaboration between UNDP and Japan, livelihoods are improving, especially for young people and women who are being empowered with entrepreneurial skills.
Moreover, it is important to note that with support from Japan and other development partners, UNDP has adopted a whole-of-society approach, working closely with national partners in various countries including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal), to implement comprehensive strategies that are helping people to return to life after violence. Through different human security and peace-building initiatives supported by Japan, many former members of insurgent terrorist groups have reintegrated back into community life, contributing to the stabilization of these countries.
In 2020, UNDP Africa is implementing in total 31 UNDP-Japan funded projects over 40 million USD in 18 countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia). The project covers the following area of work; peace and stability, disaster recovery and resilience, Human Security and Nexus, PKO support, Electoral Assistance, COVID-19 response, and ID digitalization.
Voice from Tokyo
Leading up to TICAD VII, from June 2018 to July 2019, UNDP mobilized over 1,500 people through the organization of monthly dialogue sessions ‘AFRI CONVERSE’. As many as 14 sessions, covering diverse thematic areas were organized and attracted broad public from the government, JICA, JETRO, African Diplomatic Corps, Academia, NGO, UN agencies, development banks, students and private sector.
This multisectoral discussion platform was held monthly and provided a venue for participants from Africa and Japan to freely exchange views on various topics related to African development with 41 speakers of mixed background.
Building on the platform of AFRI CONVERSE and its network, UNDP will continue to advocate for/communicate about African development and the TICAD process, highlighting important agendas reaffirmed during TICAD VII, as a building block for TICAD VIII.
Under the guiding principle of “African Ownership and International Partnership”, UNDP continues to partner with diverse stakeholders to promote global consensus on African development priorities and international partnership to support them.