Ticad Conference Adopts Yokohama Declaration

TICAD conference adopts Yokohama Declaration

A major three-day conference on Africa's economic and social development has come to a close here in Japan, with leaders and representatives adopting the "Yokohama Declaration."

At the closing ceremony, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "Dynamic Africa is now a partner to Japan and we can grow together. I was able to confirm that feeling through this conference which I have now chaired three times."

The final declaration touched on harnessing the power of private sector investments to boost economic and social growth in Africa.

It also says it will step up training programs for young African engineers.

In the document, leaders also made a veiled reference to China's lending practices on the continent.

It vows to strive toward a free, fair and transparent investment environment. That's something critics say China's initiatives are lacking.

Prime Minister Abe said, "As we have announced during this conference, Japan will help African nations improve debt management capabilities by sending policy advisors and providing training."

For the first time, the declaration mentions maritime security cooperation between Japan and Africa in the Indo-Pacific.

China has been stepping up its maritime activities in the region.

The Yokohama Declaration also pledges to continue fighting infectious diseases by investing more in health initiatives.