UNIDO ITPO Tokyo organized the online webinar “How to Succeed in Attracting Investment and Technology from Japan” on August 24, 2022, as a side event of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) in Tunisia. The seminar consisted of two-panel sessions. Four African advisors from UNIDO ITPO Tokyo and 3 African experts in investment promotion joined each session and discussed investment promotion and technology transfer from Japan to Africa based on their experiences.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Mr. Rachad Bouhlal, Chair of the Trade and Investment Committee of the African Diplomatic Corps in Japan, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Japan, stated that trade and investment are essential for the sustainable development of African countries. For example, Japanese investment has generated more than 50,000 jobs in Morocco and it contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of the Kingdom. Following the Ambassador’s remarks, Ms. Fatou Haidara, Managing Director, Directorate of Global Partnerships and External Relations in UNIDO, emphasized that “technological progress is crucial to offer sustainable solutions to economic and environmental challenges”. She also expressed her expectations for further investment and technology transfer from Japan to Africa.
In the first panel, each of the 4 African advisors introduced the business environments and opportunities as well as success stories of Japanese investments in their countries. Moreover, they provided suggestions to Japanese companies considering expanding their businesses into Africa in the future. First, Mr. Lies Kerrar (Algeria) said that Algeria has attractive investment opportunities for Japanese companies, especially in the energy, railways, and agriculture sectors. He emphasized that he can provide support for Japanese companies to reduce their risks. Second, Mr. Tadesse Segni (Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda) highlighted that he can provide hand-holding style support for Japanese companies. He further stressed the two critical elements for Japanese companies to succeed in African investment are; 1) sufficient information, and 2) reasonable speed to prepare, plan and implement their businesses. Third, Mr. Nándio Durão (Mozambique) referred to Japanese companies that have been investing in the agricultural sector in Mozambique and pointed out that the best strategy to successfully enter the African market is to find the right local partner, for which he can assist. Finally, Ms. Aïssatou Ndiaye (Senegal and French-speaking West Africa) introduced 2 Japanese companies’ cases and mentioned that having a connection with both public and private sectors is necessary for successful technology transfer in Africa.
In the second panel, 3 panelists who had previously participated in UNIDO ITPO Tokyo’s delegate programme explored ways to promote business and investment by Japanese companies in Africa. Mr. Mohamed Aref Hassani, Managing Director, MidParc Casablanca, explained lessons learned from over 20 years of experience in attracting investment from Japan. He shared that he would like to continue promoting & attracting investment from Japan and that establishing joint ventures with Japanese SMEs would also be welcome in Morocco. Ms. Solange Amichia, Director General of Côte d’Ivoire Investment Promotion Center (CEPICI), mentioned that Côte d’Ivoire holds one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world, and the country is preparing an environment to invite foreign investment as a part of the national development plan. She also expressed her expectation that TICAD8 would be a great opportunity to build a favorable image to attract further investment. Lastly, Mr. Guracha Adi, General Manager of Investor Services, Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), introduced investment aftercare support in Kenya. He stressed that KenInvest can assist Japanese companies to create a comfortable business environment over the long term.
In closing remarks, Mr. Yasuhiro Nakayama, Assistant Director, Technical Cooperation Division, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan, emphasized that Africa is an attractive growing market, and concluded the webinar by saying “Japan and Africa will continue to maintain a strong relationship as partners that cooperate and develop together.”
|Date & Time:||24 August 2022 from 17:00 to 18:30 (Japan time)|
|Languages:||English, French, and Japanese (simultaneous interpretation)|
|17:00 – 17:10||Opening Remarks
Panel Session I: Best Practices for Supporting Japanese Companies’ Investment and Technology Transfer Projects
Panel Discussion II: Towards Sustainable and Long-term Japanese Investments in Africa
Biography of Panelists (Panel 2)
Mr. Mohamed Aref Hassani, Managing Director, MidParc Casablanca, Morocco
Ms. Solange Amichia, Director General of Cote d’Ivoire Investment Promotion Center (CEPICI)
|Mr. Guracha Adi, General Manager of Investor Services, Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest)
Since 1999, Mr. Guracha Adi has worked at the Kenya Investment Promotion Centre (KIPC), the predecessor of KenInvest, and worked on the areas in research, policy, information, and investment promotion. He visited Japan invited by UNIDO ITPO Tokyo in 2006 and 2010. KenInvest participated the UNIDO ITPO Tokyo delegate programme also in 2016 and 2019.
Contact for inquiries
Mr. Gelegen, Ms. Imazu, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo