Fidelis Munyoro Chief Reporter
The Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) will provide a splendid opportunity for businesses to explore new markets for trade and investment between the two countries, commentators have said.
The inclusive business platform through which Asian and African nations, as well as international stakeholders, can collaborate to promote Africa’s development — is expected to see Africa benefiting much from the direct investment by the Japanese government.
The three-day TICAD Summit is slated for August 28 in Yokohama, Japan. African heads of state including President Mnangagwa are expected to lead high-powered business delegations to the Asian country for the TICAD 7 Summit.
Ecnmist Mr Eddie Cross said in the past Japan has been a major bilateral partner and trade with that country is significant.
“It is the third largest economy in the world and must be encouraged to work with us as we try to grow our exports and the wider economy,” he says.
His sentiments were echoed by economist Mr Stewart Mawarire, who noted that, most importantly, TICAD was coming at a time when Zimbabwe is in dire need to broaden its exports mix to generate scarce foreign currency.
Another business observer, Mr Wellington Pasipanodya, holds the view that Japan should come to Zimbabwe to set up industries to increase output value for the purposes of increasing the country’s foreign currency generation.
“Bilateral relations must take the Rwanda approach in insisting on beneficiation of all exportable goods,” he said adding: “The time for bilateral agreements based on mutual respect is now the only way we can fully benefit from foreign relations.”
TICAD 7 is being held under the theme, “Boosting Africa’s development through people, technology and innovation”, and this dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s articulated targets of Vision 2030.
The timing of the conference is perfect for the Second Republic that has embarked on a global drive to make the country the most attractive investment destination on the continent.
Relations between Zimbabwe and Japan have improved in recent years with various projects being undertaken under the Japan Official Development Assistance (ODA) Framework.