Issue Brief on “Japanese Investment in Africa: Abe’s African Pivot”

On March 18, 2018, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) approved its first official development assistance loan to the African Development Fund of nearly $700 million to support loans for infrastructure and development projects across Africa.[1] The fund, part of the African Development Bank (AfDB) group, mainly provides support to least-developed and poor countries in the form of very long-term, low-interest financing. Japan’s unique selling preposition towards African investments caters for African needs. Besides for-profit investment project, these investments have a core element of catering to public welfare of Africans by investing in health, education and human development. 

African economy has recently witnessed an influx of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from countries like China, India, Japan and now Turkey. This trend has been steady despite the growing global uncertainty.[2] Keeping in view Africa’s complex socio-political landscape, and the challenges (especially coming with these investments); the African leadership at the continental level needs to emerge and guide this process of African development and growth. For this purpose, it is important that they be able to distinguish with all merits and de-merits between different options and opportunities available for Africa. In this regard, welfare of African people comes foremost and this is where Japan is making a difference. African leadership must craft an action plan and command public support to deliver on their implementation commitments made under FDI.

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