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Japanese PM Abe Was a Big Proponent of Engagement With Africa, What Happens Now That He’s Stepping Down?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who announced last week that he will step down for health reasons, was an enthusiastic proponent of a robust African engagement strategy. In particular, the prime minister advocated for a trade-led foreign policy with Africa that was highlighted ...

At TICAD7, China is Invisible, but Ever-Present

There’s a real disconnect at TICAD7 this year. This gap isn’t between Japan and Africa. Rather it’s between the experience of being inside TICAD and how it’s represented in the media. The dominant outside narrative is that TICAD is all about China – in

Reflections on TICAD7 With Judd Devermont

In this episode, Eric & Cobus speak with Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent think tank in Washington, on his key takeaways from this year’s Tokyo International Conference on African ...

Why Using a Zero-Sum Analysis to Compare Japan and China in Africa “doesn’t work”

With the Tokyo International Conference on African Development or TICAD, summit coming up this week in Yokohama, there is often a temptation to compare Tokyo's engagement strategy in Africa with that of Beijing's. Furthermore, there are often references to how the Sino-Japanese rivalry in Asia also tends ...

China-Africa 101: Japan & China – Asian Players Competing on the African Continent

During the 2016 TICAD summit, Japan appeared to woo its African counterparts by emphasizing what China has long been criticized for: shoddy quality of projects. Speaking with African heads-of-state in Nairobi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not name China but certainly alluded to the issue of ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

What We’ve Lost in the Fire

This weekend was a rough one for South Africa. On Sunday, the country watched as fires around Table Mountain slowly started creeping downhill, towards the beautiful campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT). Soon it was confirmed that the university’s African Studies library, which housed a unique collection of African film, and one of the biggest repositories of historical documents related to Southern Africa, was on fire. Librarians are still trying ...

Japan Starts to Push the “High Quality” Line to Differentiate Its Infrastructure in Africa from China’s

With the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) coming up in two weeks, the pre-summit messaging coming from the Japanese government indicates that it plans to use this event to highlight the differences its approach to infrastructure development on the continent from that of the ...

Q&A: How Will Japan Differentiate Its Africa Development Policy from China’s

The seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development will take place in Yokohoma on August 29th where delegates from 54 African countries and international organizations are expected to attend. Some of the key themes that are expected to emerge from this year's summit are already starting to ...