Japan pledges $30 billion in aid to Africa at Tunis summit


A woman carries a baby as she queues for food, at Tsehaye Primary School, which has been converted into a temporary shelter for people displaced by the conflict, in the town of Shire, Tigray Region, Ethiopia , March 15, 2021. REUTERS/ Baz Ratner/File Photo

Japan pledged $30 billion in development aid to Africa on Saturday, saying it wants to work more closely with the continent as the rules-based international order comes under threat following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Addressing a Japan-Africa summit in Tunisia, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tokyo would work to ensure grain shipments to Africa amid global shortages.

“If we abandon a rules-based society and allow unilateral changes to the status quo by force, the impact of this will extend not just to Africa, but to the whole world,” Kishida said via video link afterward. have tested positive for COVID-19. .

Kishida said the $30 billion would be disbursed over three years, pledging smaller sums for food security in coordination with the African Development Bank.

The summit gave Tunisian President Kais Saied his biggest international platform since his election in 2019 and comes after he seized sweeping powers, formally enshrined in a constitutional referendum, a move his critics call a coup of state.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart on Friday, Tunisian Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi repeatedly underlined Tunisia’s commitment to democracy, which has been questioned by Saied’s critics, Reuters reported.

The summit sparked a row between Tunisia and Morocco, which was angered by Saied’s decision to invite the Polisario movement which is demanding independence for Western Sahara, a territory Rabat considers its own.

Morocco and Tunisia have recalled their ambassadors from the other country for consultations. Rabat said the decision to invite Polisario leader Brahim Ghali was taken against Japan’s wishes.


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