At the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) held in Yokohama in May last year, the Japanese Government announced a set of measures for supporting African development by utilizing JBIC with the aim to double investment and trade from Japan into Africa.*1 The following shows JBIC's achievement in one year since the Conference.
Financial Commitments Made by JBIC since TICAD IV
In TICAD IV, the Japanese Government announced JBIC's financial support (in loans, equity investments and guarantees) for Africa in the total amount of US$2.5 billion over the next five years.
Since then through 31 May, 2009, JBIC has made an overall equivalent to US$1.097 billion of financial commitments for infrastructure development and natural resource related projects that would support Japanese business activities and economic growth in African countries.
Major Commitments to Africa since TICAD IV
Establishment of the JBIC Facility for African Investment (FAI)
In an effort to support Japanese companies seeking to develop their business in Africa, JBIC established the JBIC Facility for African Investment (FAI) on April 1, 2009.*2 The FAI is expected to facilitate JBIC's active engagement in making equity investments, providing guarantees for loans by private financial institutions and offering advisory service on the African continent.
Partnership with Multilateral Institutions and Knowledge Assistance
Partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB)
JBIC held a seminar called "Private Sector Operations of The African Development Bank (AfDB) for Japanese Companies and Investors" jointly with AfDB on 28 July, 2008, to inform the participants of private sector development and Japanese firms’ business opportunities in Africa.
JBIC also signed an MOU with AfDB on 14 May, 2009. In the MOU, JBIC and AfDB confirmed financial cooperation in mutually important areas for Japan and African countries, including the development of energy and natural resources, renewable energy development, infrastructure projects to improve investment environment climate for the private sector, and a trade facilitation program.*3
To date JBIC has prepared "The Blue Books on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Facilitation" (the Blue Book), and handed them to the governments in African countries.*4 The Blue Book for Nigeria is currently under preparation, to be presented to the Government of Nigeria this summer. As a lead-up to its presentation, JBIC held a workshop on policy proposals in March 2009 in Nigeria, inviting Nigerian government officials and Japanese firms operating in Nigeria.
The Way Forward
JBIC intends to ensure growth in the private sector in Africa by promoting trade and investment activities of Japanese businesses there, while developing close relations with governments, related agencies and multilateral institutions in African countries through the Africa Office, which was newly established in July 2008. Amid increasing concern on the impact of the global financial crisis on Africa, JBIC will continue its strong commitment to supporting Africa through its financial instruments, including the Leading Investment to Future Environment Initiative (LIFE Initiative)*5 and trade finance facilities as well as the FAI.
- *1 See the press release: JBIC Supporting African Development
- *2 "Facility" means a program with specific procedures for managing operations; not a fund or account.
- *3 See the press release: JBIC Signs MOU with AfDB to Strengthen Cooperation
- *4 JBIC has prepared Blue Books for five African countries so far: Kenya/Uganda/Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia.
- *5 See the press release: Establishing Leading Investment to Future Environment Initiative (LIFE Initiative)