Policy Workshop on Japan Kenya Relations

Ambassador Tatsushi Terada
Ambassador Ben Ogutu

(The First Pre-event of TICAD VI)

TICAD Process and Japanese Private Sector

As the firs pre-event of TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) VI, a Policy Workshop was held at the Embassy of Japan on Friday, 4th March, 2016. A total of 125 participants attended the workshop. The Workshop consisted of a Public Lecture delivered by Mr. Koenuma Akihito, General Manager at Marubeni Corporation, Abidjan Office; Followed by the Public Lecture was a Panel Discussion. The panelists for this discussion were Mr. Polycarp Igathe, Managing Director, Vivo Energy Kenya; Mr. Kennedy Manyala, Chief Operating Officer, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA); Prof. Wainaina Gituro, Acting Director General, Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat; and Mr. Mikio Mori, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan. As a moderator, Prof. Peter Kagwanja, Chief Executive, Africa Policy Institute, participated in the discussion.

The Policy Workshop was officially opened by Mr. Tatsushi Terada, Ambassador of Japan in Kenya and Ambassador Ben Ogutu, Director General of the TICAD VI Secretariat within the Government of Kenya. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Terada informed the audience that the main aim of the policy workshop was to highlight the importance of TICAD in bringing about resilient and sustainable growth in the African continent with an emphasis placed on private investment in Africa. Ambassador Ogutu reiterated this fact by stating that for the first time the TICAD conference would involve the private sector in the plenary sessions with heads of states.
Mr. Koenuma delivering his lecture
Following the opening ceremony, Mr. Koenuma took the audience through the past contributions of TICAD focusing on the role it has played in the development of Africa and the way forward for boosting Japanese private investment. The lecture covered several topics which included:
The moderator and Panelists (L to R) Prof. Kagwanja, Mr. Koenuma, Minister Mori
The Panelists (L to R) Prof. Wainaina, Mr. Manyala, Mr. Igathe
Some of the issues raised during the panel discussion were:
Members of the audience asking questions to the panelists
Members of the audience asking questions to the panelists
The question and answer session revealed a variety of questions which cut across the board. They included questions about:
  1. the motivation of the Japanese private sector to be involved in Africa at such a crucial time of its history
  2. how to compete well in a situation where good quality means high price
  3. the future of Japan investment where governance is a problem

The Policy Workshop was closed by Prof. Kagwanja. In his closing remarks, the Professor stated that to learn a people’s work ethic, it was necessary to have an exchange forum. In addition to this, he mentioned that for TICAD VI to be a success, there was need for:
  1. systematic build up activities that cut across sectors
  2. Africa to have the will to showcase what it has
  3. Japan to bring what it considers necessary for Africa needs and
  4. for TICAD VI to start on a new slate by focusing on what African wants and where it is headed.

The Japanese Embassy is committed to bringing about a series of economic, cultural, political as well as social events, up to the Conference in August.
A cross-section of the audience during the Public Lecture