Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Emmanuel Mwamba has said the relationship between African Union member states and Japan should be driven by mutual respect and cooperation without attaching conditions to development programs.
Mwamba, who is also Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union, stated that Africa had moved away from foreign prescribed programs on development to promoting partnerships that took into account local and Africa’s programs.
He cited the inclusion in the draft plan of a demand for countries that compelled member states to submit measures regarding debt, debt transparency and sustainability and demand for macro-economic sustainability, as one of the condition for the partnership.
Mwamba advised that such matters were sovereign and could not be a basis of partnership that espoused respect and mutual cooperation.
He said member states had local institutions and mechanisms to handle such matters and could not be a matter that the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) placed as a condition for cooperation between Africa and Japan and its international partners.
He added that Africa was coming from a recent history where Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) prescribed by development partners failed but was a basis and condition for development aid, which had no regard to local conditions and local mechanisms.
Mwamba, whose sentiments were supported by many AU Member states and delegations present, was contributing to the Yokohama Draft Action Plan 2019 on the ongoing Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) senior officials’ meeting.
Meanwhile, Japan, which is the Co-chair of TICAD with the Africa Union, accepted the concerns and stated that the Yokohama Action Plan will exclude matters that hinged on sovereignty of the countries such as a demand on debt disclosures as a condition.
Japan echoed sentiments that the relationship that TICAD was promoting included mutual respect and cooperation with Africa.
The TICAD Conference will be held in Yokohama, Japan and will attract Heads of States from Africa, Japan and development partners such as the United Nations Development Plan (UNDP) and the World BANK.
This is according to a statement issued by First Secretary Press and Tourism at the Zambian mission in Addis Ababa, Inutu Mupango Mwanza.