As much as I’d like to keep things light, I came across some questionable news that I can’t ignore.
The 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) was held in Tunis, Tunisia, this year. On the agenda were measures given to assist Tunisia, who has been suffering from an economic and political crisis stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The country hopes to attract investors for roughly 80 projects worth $2.7 billion in health, automotive, space, and renewable energy sectors.
They succeeded in attracting the likes of Japan.
According to Aljazeera, Japan has pledged $30bn in aid for development in Africa. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida advised that Tokyo would work to ensure grain shipments to the continent and that funds from Japan would be delivered over three years, promising smaller sums for food securing under the African Development Bank.
Tunisian President Kais Saied encouraged delegates to “search together for ways for African people to achieve the hopes and dreams of the first generation after independence.”
“The world cannot continue as it was. With all its wealth and assets, Africa cannot watch its people live through poverty.”
Senegalese President Macky Sall spoke highly of the conference as well.
“Almost 30 years after its launch, the Tokyo International Conference for African Development continues to deliver on its promises with concrete results in the areas of education, agriculture, health and water, to give just a few examples.”
I’m confused as to how this is a win for Tunisia, let alone the whole of Africa. The money being given isn’t grants but loans, which means that the country would be indebted to Japan and forcibly in agreement with their investments, regardless of whether or not Tunisian (or African) citizens benefit from them.
Africa’s dependence on foreign aid is one of the main reasons why the continent isn’t respected and why its descendants throughout the diaspora have high levels of self-hatred—uncomfortable truth. You can’t have such backward politics that put continental Africans at risk but expect support and cultural pride from those of us throughout the globe. And let’s not mention the fact that many of the continent’s leaders have no qualms about asking other nations for basic necessities.
Are we really incapable of doing things for ourselves?
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: Aljazeera
Churm, P. A. (2022, August 27). African and Japanese delegates meet to promote continent’s growth Volume 90% 00:16 01:10 . Africa News. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://www.africanews.com/2022/08/27/african-and-japanese-delegates-meet-to-promote-continents-growth//
Japan pledges $30bn in aid for Africa at Tunisia conference. Aljazeera. (2022, August 27). Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/27/japan-pledges-30bn-in-aid-for-africa-at-tunisia-conference