politics

Japan pledges $14 bil in aid to Africa over 5 years

54 Comments
By Kyoko Hasegawa

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© 2013 AFP

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How much money is the developed world willing to throw in the bottomless pit known as Africa.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

...helping people offshore whereas people are dying of starvation at home.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The foreign aid is the main enemy for Africa. Money usually ends up in the wrong hands . The amount of money being sent to impoverished areas by developed nations is largely unaccounted for and ends up in the bank accounts, out of the country, in the hands of those in power. Far better for Japan to establish schools, hospitals and transporation infastructure by mostly employing and paying locals to do the work but to control absolutely the purse strings to guarantee proper use of the funds. Providing machinery and teaching people how to use them to produce goods for sale in their own markets will raise up the whole population. At the same time, a system would have to be put in place to guarantee equitable distribution of the benfits of the system.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Rest assured jeff198527 they are not throwing away money they are only doing what will be perceived as "charitable" but there is always an ulterior motive.People or countries with lots of money don't just throw it away with nothing to gain in return.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I'd like to see them do this with the money they continue to give to China on a year by year basis, as I believe that: 1. China no longer needs it, and 2. China no longer deserves it.

Especially seeing they then loan it back from China...AND pay interest on it....TO China.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

sfjp330... Im construction contractor and I.. not you. have worked with JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and have seen and worked building schools.specialized hospitals, and many many things that you cant even imagine. just check out JICA from any country.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This kind of aid is often a disguised subsidy for Japanese companies. A few years ago I was in Tanzania and when we came to a very nice new stretch of road, our guide told us that the Japanese government paid for it and Japanese construction companies had come and built it. Good for Tanzania, good for the company that built it, very bad for us taxpayers here in Japan, business as usually for the cronies.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

ill give you an example. Dominican Republic aid by JICA schools, imaging medical labs, development agricultural species climatized, export center for freetrade, water canals, waste garbage centers, mitsubishi power plant, computers, vaccines for polio erradication, general medicines, waste pickup trucks, rural water solar aprings, a TV channel for cultural programs. agriculture tracktors, water dams. free masteries in Japan, money for students. Loans. then you say that these things are enemies.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

kiyoshiMukaiJun. 01, 2013 - 07:54AM JST Im construction contractor and I.. not you. have worked with JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and have seen and worked building schools.specialized hospitals, and many many things that you cant even imagine. just check out JICA from any country.

Your indicators are not a true register on the ground in Africa. Sure, some progress has been made on buildings and infastructures, but Africa from the north to the south is still dirt poor. Africa goverments are still mainly subsistance upon Western powers, IMF, who then steal this money and leave the African people to starve for themselves. With the contracts of western money comes demands from western powers that exclude the African people. Western meddling and enriching the criminal elements so they can stay in power and serve western interest is still the main story behind African leaders. They are as corrupted as they come and wickedness beyond belief.

True African success will come when African leaders are removed and aid addict African cronies are replaced with good and honest leaders who care for their community, and build the infrastructure and no western interference and corruption.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

all of them for free. just imagine a MRI without insurance for US30.00 a machine that cost over a million dollars. and nobody told me. I saw it for myself. thats why many around the world loves Japan. that and goku

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What a waste of money! 95% of that will end up in the politicians back pockets and no where else. Robert Mugabe must be rubbing his grubby little fingers together!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Hows the rebuilding for Tohoku coming along?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@ - KiyoshiMukai - nothing is for "free" - including aid for the third-world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

only $100 Trillion behind other industrialized nations donations to charity. BUT its a START! Great job!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

BurakuminDes "nothing is for free" sometimes its free. Unlike countries like China that will never help at any extent.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

No.. They need to reinvest that money into the reproductive health of Japan. Not Africans.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan's debt is 230% of GDP or $13.64 trillion and China own 14%. So what another $10 billion one the way to reduce the debt. Abenomics is interesting. That 30% or the 230% is related to the 2011 quake and tsunami.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan's debt is the highest among developed nations -- some 200% the GDP. People in Tohoku are STILL living in shelters while the government throws money at public works projects in Okinawa and Nagoya, Myanmar and across the globe. SPEND IT HERE!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It's charity but the understanding is it's goodwill that will be rewarded with future business. Nothing wrong with that. All developed countries practice this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Throws money? At least not literally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When USA says aid, it is usually military intervention. When Japan says aid, investment to earn a lot by Japan Inc.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you ever think aid is free, think again. $10 billion for $50 billion in 30 years. Who profits?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JICA does a decent job of relatively low-profile and usually useful development assistance. No big shock that a lot of the money comes back to Japan, just like US aid, European aid, and Australian aid. Africans don't always make much distinction between Japanese and Chinese people, so Japan is wise to keep in the game and show them a contrast to Chinese "aid", which is almost 100% commercial investment thinly disguised. A few commenters have obviously not taken notice of the rapid growth rate of quite a few African countries. Some like Angola and DRCongo are rolling in resource money and corrupt as hell, but there are others worthy of investment. And yes, China should be taken off the list of Japanese aid recipients. That makes no sense at all!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Let compute how much each country get in one year. $14 billion/ 5 year = 2.8 billion a year for 40 countries. 2.8 billion / 40 = $0.07 billion = only $70 million a year for each country. Very good investment considering Japan Inc. will be assured for getting resources. I computed with my tired brain and did not use simple programming to compute so please correct me if my computation is wrong.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I agree that many parts of Africa do need assistance and aid, but Japan's motives are not to help Africa. Their motives are only to develop a cheap workforce for its own needs. Shame on you Japan!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

kiyoshiMukai

ill give you an example. Dominican Republic aid by JICA schools, imaging medical labs, development agricultural species climatized, export center for freetrade, water canals, waste garbage centers, mitsubishi power plant, computers, vaccines for polio erradication, general medicines, waste pickup trucks, rural water solar aprings, a TV channel for cultural programs. agriculture tracktors, water dams. free masteries in Japan, money for students. Loans. then you say that these things are enemies

That is Payback for when after the war, Japanese were broke and Dominican government take many Japanese families and give then free land and housing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Back on topic please. The subject is Africa.

Pretty sad cynicism on this thred. Lots of people pretending to know it all.

My co-worker's husband spent 2 years building a hospital in Uganda. She visited him there and showed me the pictures that she took. All those pictures of hard-working Ugandans, yeah that means nothing according to you lot.

Pathetic. Stop your smug comments and do something if you think you know it all. JAICA and the like are doing something, what about you?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Africa is like Danaides’ barrel. You keep filling it but because of completly corrupt leaders, every single dollar you put in ends up in their pockets.

Few months ago a french judge has approved the seizure of luxury cars belonging to the son of Equatorial Guinea, one of poorest country on earth. This is just a very small example of what is happening with those dear african leaders. If you make a visit to Paris luxury shopping spots you meet many african leaders family members. We know how this money will be spent and you wonder why african leaders go to France and Europe hospitals everytime they are ill or just for a checkup. Most of them do not even give money to have a normal hospital in their countries.

What a waste.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

sourpus. Thats the idea. many people saying that Japan only wants money from other countries. But aid is real.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

For all of you thinking Japan is throwing money away, think again please. Japan is investing ¥14 million in Africa. It's not FREE never will be. Give Japan 20 years and they will tell you how much profit they have made.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Would be nice to see the Japanese government getting it's own home in order before committing such huge amount of money overseas. Let's not forget about the people of Tohoku.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is good intention if materialized

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmm, Japan invests in economic growth and humanitarian projects in Africa. China invests in civil wars and exploitation in Africa. This will be interesting! The corrupt side usually always wins the upper hand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An example of China's investment in Africa was Angola. Angola decided against taking a loan from the IMF as it required the implementation of neoliberal policies which were regarded as unacceptable to Angola. One analyst remarked that no country has ever moved from developing to developed without protectionism. China's loan was conditional on exports, and while some could criticize it as a resources grab, the fact remains that Anglola saw that as far more palatable than an IMF loan. Angola's growth rates have been dramatically uneven in the years of the last decade, but last year saw a 7.4% growth. However, as is typical of many African nations reports of jaw-dropping amounts of oil revenue 'going missing' have hit the news. China seems unconcerned about corruption or uneven distribution of wealth as long as the resources keep flowing, perhaps Japan will show the same attitude as long as they get what they want.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hopefully you are wrong about that CGB Spender. This is a good decision although a little late in the game. Africans will see the clear difference in sincerity with the Japanese. Hopefully this will enhance a long & healthy relationship with the continent and Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How about taking care of your own people first ? Charity starts at home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We Africans don't need AID.AID and its restrictions has forced a development paradigm on us since the first African Independence.From SAPs in the 80's to the HIPC in 90's,Africa has not been able to chart its own development agenda.Our inept leaders, who I refer to as thieves clad in suits are shameless beings.

Basic Economics talks about 3 factors of production.We have 2,we just need the 3rd i.e the capital (technology).What we need is how to strategically obtain these technologies either through research or direct purchase to be able to create employment and wealth for our citizens.

Countries are forging relationship with us,because they need our resources to make end products that create wealth and employment for its citizens.why cant we africans also use the resources to make end products to move millions out of poverty?

It's because when we take control of the resources,their economies would slump and the theives (African leaders) wont get free money anymore.

Who needs AID in Africa when kenya MPs are among the highest paid in the world; A Nigerian Governors salary is worth millions a year; Governments and their cronies are looting state resources as if there is no tomorrow.

What we need is the skills and technology to industralize not AID money.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"For all of you thinking Japan is throwing money away, think again please. Japan is investing ¥14 million in Africa. It's not FREE never will be. Give Japan 20 years and they will tell you how much profit they have made."

Really! Please show me where you have ever read such a report from any country where that has ever happened...please enlighten me. I would also like to know where that profit ends up? In the average Japanese workers pocket? Please excuse my scepticism.

Looks like using tax payers money to grease the wheels for big business to make money which goes directly into the pockets of the top 0.000000000001% of the population. The local guy on the street here has more chance of feeling the wind from a butterfly's beating wing then him seeing anything from such an "Investment".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This same AID and soft loans in the 70's and 80's to AFRICA that ended in the pockets of corrupt leaders has placed a cyclic burden on us.In the early 90's ,Africa debt servicing was almost 50% of their exports until the HIPC came.

AID money is not free.

The Europeans came,now its the Chinese and the Japanese.

hmm! Japan better grap your piece now because very soon.Some of us would take over the leadership.

This thing would have to stop.

Why should we be so resource rich but so dirt poor? Why does people take the resources and turn them into wealth and employment for their people? Why cant we make use of these resources for our benefit?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Plain stupid for Japan to keep giving China even 1 more YEN! China hates Jaoan! They do not appreciate what Japan does for China so we here in Japan deserve that money and about Africa?? A little too late for Japan to try and compete Chinese investments in Africa, funded by Japanese money to China???

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So many scathing and disparaging comments about African nations. disheartening. Smh

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan's support is different from other countries. Japan would like to guarantee the safety instead of sending a technician. It does not issue immigrant from Japan. I inherit it teach the technology of Japan, in the country. It is intended to determine the coexistence. With the exception of Korea and China, Asia like Japan. I do not know it either well in Africa. Calls for assistance in Japan from Africa's size it certainly is. It does not work the military.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How good to criticise China...but forgetting that when you stood with the imperialists, the British, French, Portugese and Spaniards who robbed Africa of her human and natural resources through centuries, and are still doing so, leaving nothing behind but desolation, with no industries for the adding of value to raw materials, the CIA that assassinating our freedom fighters branding them communists because the only place they could get support to liberate the continent was communist China that had fought to liberate their own country from you; then when the victory was inevitable, you and your western allies quickly put into place despots who have impoverished their own nations to your benefit, and now that China is trumping you in your game, you want to come pose as "liberators"? You make me laugh when you think you are going to do differently with the very stooges that revert the socalled development money back into your accounts. The first trip of Japanese vice PM to Myanmar at the time when whole villages of Moslems were being burnt down, yet neither him nor the Japanese press never mentioning the human rights situation, does speak tons that Japan is going to do differently in Africa, very much as China has recently been doing with despots on the continent. Lets be clear, save the good words for the locals...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That was an expensive conference for Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway, thanks to the Chinese, now many countries are rediscovering Africa as a place for investment, not a basket case, and not a bunch of children to be lectured.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan buy more votes at the UN.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's not aid, it's a punt, hoping to create investment opportunities. Japan hope to get huge, huge paybacks in terms of very cheap access to valuable resources and lucrative construction contracts that can last decades. However, they are playing catch-up with the Chinese, and I think they have left it rather late. There's no true aid-giving here, just greasing the palms of greedy governors. Japan have very deep pockets, but they are also a country with no natural resources of their own. Hence it is vital that they create new trading partners. They need Africa far more than Africa needs them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It these 40 African countries get Japanese aid (investment) and they can improve their people's education, living condition, etc, they can appreciate Japan.

Japanese corporations will invest there and create employment there.

Traditionally, Japanese corporations pay way better than China;s $1 to 2 a day wages.

Africa will grow. Japan stopped military aggression many years ago. This is a peaceful gesture to Africa. Is Japan going to replace USA as a top nation in the world now?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kiyoshi mukai and toshiko.

You are missing the point here.

kiyoshi you talk about a school,MRI etc which costs a few million dollars.This amount is a token looking at the amount of money wasted by our greedy Govts.

Inflated projects costs,waste of Govt resources.Do you know all Parlaimentarians and Govt ministers, at least in Ghana, receive unlimited gasoline and accomodation all year round.?These are waste.

The recent corruption pattern is called "Judgement debts".They intentionally abrograte contracts of their cronies.then the cronies go to court and obtain compensation.At least we paid over $500 million on that last year as a nation.Whereas,a major highway built by Prez Bush in Ghana just cost $100 million dollars.so,you see why they don't need AID money.

Toshiko.why should Japanese create employment there?why cant Africans do it themselves. Did Japan use AID to grow.was that the development pattern you used to grow?

As an African,I all see is Japanese greasing the palms of this same corrupt leaders to obtain access to the resources.

As argued,we cant circumvent these corrupt leaders and make progress. When the populace get the technology to turn the resources in finished goods,we would be creating employment and wealth for our citizens.Japanese SME's contribute to almost half of their GDP.We also want to be able to manufacture and sell at least on the African markets.

what our leaders need to discuss is how to obtain technology either through research or direct purchase,not on how to access AID money.Japan is rather putting a burden on future generations in Africa.we will have to pay in future in kind or cash.

Stop poking fire unto a the minds of a confused continent.

As an African,I dont buy into AID strategy.For 50 years ,it did not work.

These are the sentiments of many ordinary Africans.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@otumfuo...My hat to you!!! And should you be on this island, I would like to meet you! The problem with African development is all these self styled do-gooders who always think they have the solution from their pedestals and drawing boards far away from the continent!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Otumufuo: You wrote Toshiko.why should Japanese create employment there?why cant Africans do it themselves. Did Japan use AID to grow.was that the development pattern you used to grow?

I wrote following prediction. Any of my comment in this article, I never wrote Japanese should create employments. Read back before you accused me something I never wrote. Just prediction. Read back my all other comments here,

Japanese corporations will invest there and create employment there.

Traditionally, Japanese corporations pay way better than China;s $1 to 2 a day wages.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It will be interesting to see how Japan will successfully compete with China in Africa because Japan has its own hands and policies bound by conditionalism imposed on Africans by OECD countries. Before it can invest Japan must first lecture the African leaders on democracy, good governance, and good manners. And you know all those fancy projects in the villages, where OECD countries excel, where villagers are taught how to feed their babies, how to garden and how to prepare healthy meals etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is not going to lecture anything to the representative of these 40 independent countries as Japan's purpose of its Aid is not to colonize them but to offer Aid first so that Japan Inc. will be able to establish their business there without worrying to be bombed or their employees killed.

The people who have been studying various subjects in foreign countries can come back, too,

It is easy to say create own technological industry and own business but you can not make computer makers to export from their countries but can not make computer industry from scratch, for instance. This is where Japan Inc, enter after Japan's aid stabilize and people get school education.

Of cause native language speakers are very important and so there will be native corporations with help of Japan, Inc. It may take longer but Japan is not going to behave like it is a conquering colonist country.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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