TICAD-VI: Another Monument of Development?

Published on 22nd August 2016

Kenya will play host to over 10,000 delegates during the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) set to take place on the 27th-28th August 2016. TICAD-VI which builds on outstanding issues from the TICAD-V Yokohama Declaration and Action Plan will focus on the theme: “Advancing Africa’s Sustainable Development Agenda – TICAD Partnership for Prosperity.” TICAD-VI’s objectives include addressing overall continental economic growth agenda; Africa’s infrastructure development programme; agriculture and farming; Peace and Security as well as, questions of social inclusivity.

The African continent is rich in development deals - from Yokohama, Beijing, Ankara, Delhi, Seoul, Brussels, Brazil to Washington. The fast pace at which the deals are being signed in exchange for development should alarm African thinkers. While foreign countries do not hide the fact that they want to grow their businesses and global market share, their African counterparts show little effort to transform the continent into an 'headquarter economy and ask foreigners to develop Africa. This approach breeds monuments of the foreigners' sense of development.

While Africa appreciates the great platforms that offer the continent an opportunity to make development deals; Africans should reflect deeply on their value proposition to the world. Super deals are good for Africa but the responsibility is on the African side to position its interests beyond monuments of development.

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