Buhari heads to Japan for African Development Summit

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja for Japan on Sunday to participate in the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).

The conference is holding in  Yokohama between August 28 and August 30.

In a statement on Friday, Femi Adesina, spokesman of the president, said Buhari’s participation in the conference would be his second, having attended TICAD6 in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016.

Adesina said the session would be opened by Shinzo Abe, Japanese prime minister.

“President Buhari will deliver Nigeria’s Statement during Plenary Session Three in which he will appraise Nigeria-Japan relations and takeaways from TICAD6,” he said.

“He will attend a State Banquet and also honour the invitation of Emperor Naruhito to a Tea Reception at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo. In addition to a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, the Nigerian President will also attend some side-events and meet chief executive officers of some Japanese companies with huge investments in Nigeria.

“Participants are drawn not only from African countries, but also international organisations, private companies and civil society organisations involved in development.”

Adesina said the conference would focus on Africa’s economic transformation and improvements in business environment.

“Nigeria has gained tremendously since her participation in TICAD6 at the highest level, during which Japan pledged $30 billion investment for the future of Africa combined with the private sector; $10 billion infrastructure investment, and $500 million for vocational training of 50,000 Africans,” he said.

“Since the Nairobi Conference, Japanese government and companies have been very active in supporting Nigeria’s agriculture, healthcare, electricity and youth empowerment.”

Adesina said the president would be pushing for broader Japanese assistance in areas of science and technology, innovation, human resource development, education, agriculture, power, health and disaster risk reduction, among others.

“President Buhari will be accompanied by Governors Babagana Zulum, AbdulRaham AbdulRazaq and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Borno, Kwara and Lagos States respectively; ministers and other top government officials,” he said.

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