The pandemic of COVID-19 brought huge impacts on economic activities in Africa. In responding to this crisis, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, JETRO, JICA and UNDP jointly organized this online seminar “Africa Business Seminar to build back better from COVID-19” on 20 November, to introduce business investment opportunities in Africa to Japanese potential investors from macro and micro perspectives. November 20 was decided to be designated as “Africa Industrialization Day” in the resolution of the UN General Assembly in 1989.
The seminar was opened by H.E. Mr. Afeworki Haile, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo and Ms. Eziakonwa from UNDP, expressing that the partnership of the organizers of this seminar contributes to the industrialization of Africa.
In the first session moderated by Dr. Sacko, President of Kyoto Seika University, the opportunities for investment/business across the continent were presented by African business leaders and a representative from regional economic community.
In the following panel discussion, representatives from each organizer introduced how they react to COVID-19. They also stated that in order to respond to the COVID-19, it is important to promote digital transformation and good governance as well as improve access to finance of SMEs in Africa. Japanese investment is expected to achieve these.
The second session was moderated by Mr. Fuwa to discuss rising business models under the new normal and how business can be more resilient and sustainable in Africa. Two African and two Japanese companies challenging such new business opportunities on the ground made a presentation on these topics.
In the panel discussion where the representatives from each organizer joined, it was commented that the delay of Japan to invest in Africa is caused by several common factors such as the language and cultural barriers and the focus on Asia. Japanese companies were encouraged to take the new business opportunities emerged under COVID-19, especially in West Africa which has been untouched and neglected despite its potential market.
This seminar was closed by Mr. Bouhlal, Chair of the Trade and Investment Committee of African Diplomatic Corps with the strong message and expectation to Japan towards the industrialization of Africa.
*Some presentation materials can be downloaded under “Programme” below.
|Date:||Friday, 20th November 2020|
|Organizer:||UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, JETRO, JICA, UNDP|
|Language:||Japanese/English/French (Simultaneous interpretation provided)|
|Fee:||Free of charge|
|– H.E. Mr. Estifanos Afeworki Haile, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo, Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to Japan
– Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa
◇Session 1: Foresight on Investment/Business Opportunities with the impact of COVID-19
|– Dr. Edem Adzogenu, Founder, AfroChampions
– Ms. Providence Mavumbi, Director Industry and Agriculture, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
– Ms. Hasimboahangy Andrianainarivelo, President of AEMAJA, Madagascar Japan Economic Association
|– Dr. Oussouby Sacko, President of Kyoto Seika University in Japan|
|– JETRO: Dr. Katsumi Hirano, Executive Senior Research Fellow, IDE-JETRO
– JICA: Mr. Ryuichi Kato, Vice President
– UNDP: Mr. Luc Gregoire, Resident Representative, UNDP Guinea
– UNIDO: Mr. Victor Djemba, Chief of Africa Regional Division
◇Session 2: Resilient Business Models and Cases accelerated by the impact of COVID-19
|– Mr. Timothy Mugume, Country Manager, JUMIA Uganda
– Mr. Adebayo Alonge, CEO, Rxall
– Mr. Koichi Sato, President, TUMIQUI JAPON (Senegal)
– Mr. Shuhei Noguchi, Global Business Department, Terradrone Japan
|– Mr. Naonobu Fuwa, JICA Startup Ecosystem Expert|
|– JETRO: Mr. Osamu Kubota, Executive Vice President
– JICA: Mr. Koji Makino, Director General, Economic Development Department
– UNDP: Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, Resident Representative, UNDP Equatorial Guinea
– UNIDO: Dr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
|– Mr. Rachad Bouhlal, Chair of the Trade and Investment Committee of African Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Japan|
Contact for inquiries
Mr. Murakami / Ms. Onozaki, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo