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New Year Symposium “The Opportunities and Challenges of the Economy in Africa” (Tokyo)

New Year Symposium “The Opportunities and Challenges of the Economy in Africa” (Tokyo)


A New Year symposium entitled “The Opportunities and Challenges of the Economy in Africa” was organized by The Japan Morocco Association (JMA) at a time when various interactions between African countries and Japan are further accelerating, especially since the successful closing of TICAD VI nearly five months ago. The venue was filled with enthusiastic businessmen and women with living experience in Africa, those eager to bring their businesses to the continent, and others from organizations that bridge businesses between Africa and Japan.


In his keynote speech, “The Dawn of the African Economy”, Mr. Yorihiko Kojima, Senior Corporate Advisor, Mitsubishi Corporation referred to the potential that Africa holds with a young population while mentioning the differences in growth between the resource-rich and non-resource-rich countries. Mr. Kojima further introduced the three thematic focus areas discussed during TICAD VI (promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialization, promoting resilient health systems for quality of life, and promoting social stability for shared prosperity), and emphasized the importance of working with individual regions in Africa, rather than “Africa” as a whole, for successful business opportunities.

In the latter half of the program, H.E. Ambassador Rachad Bouhal of the Kingdom of Morocco and H.E. Ambassador Solomon K. Maina of the Republic of Kenya participated in the panel discussion led by Ms. Haruko Hirose, President of the Japan Morocco Association.

Ambassador Bouhal introduced the success in the energy sector in Morocco since it has been taken into account as a strategic sector, as compared with commodities. Morocco was introduced as a gateway to Africa, especially since the country is only 30 min. away on a ferry to one of the EU member states, Spain. “Africa is your next opportunity”, emphasized Ambassador Bouhal.

Ambassador Maina gave an introduction to one of the latest data on world’s most dynamic cities in which Nairobi ranked #10. He also emphasized the significant growth that the country is experiencing in service industries. He emphasized that the country is ready to create a comfortable environment for those investors coming into Kenya.



“The Opportunities and Challenges of the Economy in Africa”

Organizer: Japan-Morocco Association

Date/Time: 25 January (Wed.), 2016  13:30-16:00

Venue: JX Building 2F Auditorium (JX Holdings, 1-1-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku)

Supporters: MOFA, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Japan, Japan Productivity Center、Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, The Africa Society of Japan

About UNIDO ITPO Tokyo and Morocco

UNIDO has been working closely with Morocco for the past 20 years, promoting Japanese investments from Japan to Morocco, especially focusing on auto parts, logistics, energy and agro-food industries. UNIDO will continue to support Japanese companies’ investment projects in the country by also targeting new industries such as aeronautics which is now expanding in Morocco.