Kenya, through its Vice President, has expressed its profound gratitude to President Jammeh and the people of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia for allowing the East African country to host the sixth edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI).
William Samoei Ruto made these comments this week through a post on his Twitter feed. “We are grateful to Gambia and its President Yahya Jammeh for allowing Kenya to host the TICAD VI Conference,’’ Ruto wrote.
The Kenyan Vice President made the post following his meeting with the Gambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Neneh Macdouall-Gaye at the Karen Office, Nairobi. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Summit in Kenya held from the 27-28 August, 2016.
It was in July 2015 when Ruto visited The Gambia as a special envoy of President Uhuru Kenyata to the Gambian President, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa, to make an appeal for The Gambia to allow Kenya host the Summit after both countries bid for the meeting; which appeal was granted by President Jammeh.
The decision to host TICAD VI Summit in Africa was reached during the TICAD V Summit in 2013 in Japan when it was agreed that the venue of subsequent Summits be alternated between Japan and Africa. The interval of summit meetings was also shortened from every five to every three years.
TICAD is a Summit on African development launched in 1993 by Japan to refocus international attention on the importance and urgency of African development issues as well as to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.
Since then it has been co-organised by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSAA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Union Commission (AUC) and the World Bank. This is the first time it was held in Africa. Stakeholders present at the Summit included all African countries and development partners.
The main objectives of TICAD are; to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and their partners; and to mobilise support for African-owned development initiatives.
Since its inception, TICAD has provided fundamental and comprehensive policy guidelines on African development. It has evolved into a major global framework to facilitate the implementation of initiatives for promoting African development under the dual principle of African “ownership” and international “partnership”. A central feature of this framework is the cooperation between Asia and Africa in promoting Africa’s development.
The first Tokyo Conference held in 1993 ushered in a continuing process of support for Africa and consensus-building around African development priorities. Japan has co-hosted five rounds of conferences, that is, TICAD I (1993); TICAD II (1998); TICAD III (2003); TICAD IV (2008); TICAD V (2013).
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe graced the Nairobi Summit. He left Kenya after fruitful talks on Africa-Japan partnership.
by Musa Ndow