Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, said Africa had now become the continent that carried the hopes of the world through the potentials of her resources and its dynamic economic growth.
He said: “In order to impart a lasting force for living up to these hopes, I believe that it is important for each individual in Africa to have confidence in his or her own abilities and to build up efforts going forward, in order to forge a future”.
Mr Abe made the remarks when he visited the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, which was copied to the Ghana News Agency by Mr Stanislaus Acquah, Public Relations/Cultural Clerk of the Japanese Embassy in Accra.
He said: “I myself would like to visit Africa multiple times as necessary, in order to support vigorously these efforts to bring about a brilliant future for Africa.”
“The Olympics will return to Tokyo in 2020. I would like to express my appreciation once more for Tokyo having received so much support from Africa,” he added.
Mr Abe said a panoramic view of the world map revealed that Africa, with Europe to its north, Asia to its east, and North and South America to its west, quite literally stood on the world’s centre stage.
He said Japan would support the efforts of the African Union, which provided the driving power for Africa at centre stage, adding that in response to the crisis in Mali, Japan was one of the very first countries to announce assistance.
Mr Abe said in order to respond to conflicts and disasters in Africa, Japan was preparing to implement assistance of approximately 320 million dollars, with three million dollars in support of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic.
He said Japan would also implement humanitarian assistance towards the Central African Republic.
He said in addition, Japan was also preparing to implement assistance of approximately 25 million dollars to respond to the deteriorating situation in South Sudan.
Mr Abe said Japan would also send experts to the African Union Commission to offer support.
He said Japan was providing Yen loans to the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa, which was created together with the African Development Bank to foster the private sector development in Africa.
Mr Abe said in 2012, a commitment was made to provide Yen loans totaling one billion dollars over five years, adding that it had now been revised to two billion dollars over the same period. GNA