Museveni Heads to Japan for Conference on African Development

President Yoweri Museveni departed for Japan on Monday.

President Yoweri Museveni has Monday left Uganda for Japan where he and other African leaders will be attending the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7).

The conference which happens every three years will be held from August 28 to 30 in the Japanese port city of Yokohama.

It is themed “Advancing Africa’s Development through People, Technology and Innovation” in line with Japan’s endeavor to boost Africa’s development through assistance that is unique to Japan.

Japan hopes that there will be a growing interest in Africa and TICAD 7 both domestically and internationally.

All African heads of state and government are invited to attend the summit, as well as international organisations, donor countries, private companies and civil society organizations.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also scheduled to visit to attend the conference which will be co-chaired by Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

Japanese media have been reporting that the Japanese government intends to use the conference to raise “concern” over excessive debt and China’s lending practices in Africa.

China has been criticized for handing out large loans under its Belt and Road infrastructure development initiative to African countries most of which are ill-equipped to pay off the debt, often called debt-trap diplomacy.

In Uganda, Japan is and has through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) been involved in numerous infrastructure projects especially in the transport sector.

In November 2010, JICA signed a loan agreement with the government of Uganda for up to USD 100 million for the construction of the New Nile Bridge in Jinja which was commissioned this year.

Japan is also behind the construction of the first Kampala flyover project to improve transportation in Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.

Other projects include the establishment of high voltage transmission facilities including required substations necessary for the evacuation of power from the Bujagali Hydro Power Station to the national power grid.

In 2010, JICA signed a loan agreement with the Government of Uganda for USD 40.9 million for the construction of the upgrading of Atiak-Nimule road to improve the road condition up to the border with South Sudan.

Similar support has been made in sectors of education, health, water, reconstruction of Northern Uganda and agriculture.

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