Q&A: JICA VP talks Japanese support in Africa

Hiroshi Kato, senior vice president at the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. Photo by: Giulio Napolitano / FAO

ABIDJAN — The recent signing of a $300 million private sector loan assistance agreement between Japan and the African Development Bank highlighted a growing Japanese interest in maintaining and expanding its presence on the continent.

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency currently operates programs across two-thirds of the continent, primarily with an eye to improving and encouraging a robust private sector.

“My impression is that the international community is now starting to realize the importance of private sector-driven economic development, which will eventually help countries to reduce poverty,” JICA Senior Vice President Hiroshi Kato told Devex. “In some countries and areas, Africa is more ready to receive a new type of cooperation that Japan has consistently been advocating.”

Africa is the second largest recipient of Japanese aid behind Asia. Last year, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the country’s plan to invest $30 billion in African infrastructure development, education and health care expansion over the next three years.  

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About the author

  • Christin roby

    Christin Roby

    Christin Roby is the West Africa Correspondent for Devex. Based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, she covers global development trends, health, technology, and policy. Before relocating to West Africa, Christin spent several years working in local newsrooms and earned her Master of Science in videography and global affairs reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Her informed insight into the region stems from her diverse coverage of more than a dozen African nations.