For the past weeks, a 27-strong Japanese economic mission has been in Africa as part of a move to strengthen relations between the African countries and Japan.
For the past weeks, a 27-strong Japanese economic mission has been in Africa as part of a move to strengthen relations between the African countries and Japan. The Japanese team was headed by Foreign Ministry adviser Fumihiko Kono, and after talks in Tanzania the delegation moved on to the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. On Wednesday (22 February) during their stay in the Ivory Coast they toured the port of Abidjan, and on Thursday (23 February) while in Nigeria, they had talks with the Commissioner of Transport, Colonel Magoro.
SYNOPSIS: Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast, is West Africa's major container port.
In the past decade the Ivory Coast has enjoyed an economic boom, and members of the mission were able to see examples of this for themselves.
The docks at Abidjan can handle 50 ships at a time, and the Japanese party spent an hour watching the port at work.
For the past 15 years the Ivory Cost has hand an average growth rate of seven per cent, and nothing illustrates the country's success better than Abidjan. The Ivory Coast now has the highest average growth rate in black Africa, and the Japanese delegation was there to see how economic ties could be strengthened to the benefit of both countries. It was due to report on possible future economic ties to the Japanese government on its return to Tokyo.
From the Ivory Coast, the delegation moved on to the Nigerian capital of Lagos, and there they had talks with the Nigerian Commissioner of Transport, Colonel Magoro. A Nigerian government delegation had visited Tokyo earlier in the month, and the visit of Mr. Kono's party could be seen as a continuation of earlier talks between the two countries. The Nigerians are reported to have sought Japanese economic co-operation to help achieve their current 69.3 billion dollar, five-year industrialisation plan. Nigeria is reported to need increased funds, but just how much aid they sought from the Japanese, has not been disclosed.