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Japan considering aid for African nations

The aid is being given as part of measures to be unveiled when Japan hosts two major international conferences this year.

world Updated: Jan 09, 2008 12:52 IST
Kyodo

Japan is considering a 250 billion yen five-year aid package for Africa to support the construction of port facilities and other infrastructure from fiscal 2008, government sources said.

The aid is being given as part of measures to be unveiled when Japan hosts two major international conferences this year, the officials said on Tuesday.

The "infrastructure initiative" to help attract foreign investments will be one of the three main pillars to be announced at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

The other two are support for post-conflict peace building and cooperation in tackling environmental issues, the sources said.

As part of the plan, the government is considering providing aid such as to improve port facilities in Madagascar, a main distribution hub in Africa, and construct facilities for the development of resources in countries like Ghana and Guinea.

While many African nations still suffer from poverty, there are in fact more than 20 countries in the region that record over 5 percent annual growth.

The Japanese government hopes that the economic development in these "model nations" as a result of improvement in infrastructure "will eventually lead the whole region out of poverty," a senior Foreign Ministry official said.

Separate from the infrastructure initiative, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura announced last Friday during his visit to Tanzania a plan to provide 30 billion yen for refugee relief, food assistance and other forms of aid.