Riyaz Patel

President Cyril Ramaphosa has landed in Japan to participate in the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII) Summit that is expected to expand partnerships between Japan and African states, the Presidency said.

The TICAD VII takes place in the city of Yokohama from Wednesday until Friday, under the theme of “Advancing Africa’s Development through Technology, Innovation and People.”

TICAD is a multilateral leaders’ forum on African development that was first convened in 1993 in Japan.

TICAD VII has identified three overarching priorities, namely accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement; deepening sustainable and resilient society, and strengthening peace and stability.

More than 140 Japanese companies have an investment footprint in South Africa totalling more than R90 billion, the presidency said.

Tokyo, as well as the country’s corporate sector, view Pretoria as a strategic partner on the African continent and within the context of the programmes and activities of TICAD.

The discussions in Yokohama will focus on science, technology and innovation; human resource development and education; the oceans economy; climate change and disaster risk reduction, and agriculture.

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Ramaphosa’s punishing Japanese itinerary also includes a series of back-to-back trade and investment engagements, including a business roundtable at Nissan Corporation’s headquarters.

President Ramaphosa will use the business exchanges to underline South Africa as an attractive investment destination and reliable trade partner, in tandem with shoring support for South Africa’s efforts to secure faster, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, as well as reducing unemployment.

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