Editor’s Note: December 07, 2018
There is more to Asia than Beijing
Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo is heading to Japan next week (December 10 – 13), his first trip to Tokyo since taking office in January 2017.
The visit tops off a year of growing ties between the two countries. In April finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta led a delegation to Japan to meet with investors, explore a possible samurai bond issuance and advance negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty.
In November Nissan announced plans to build an assembly plant in Ghana, reflecting efforts by Tokyo to promote more Japanese investment on the continent.
This is part of a $30bn investment pledge by prime minister Shinzō Abe in 2016. Two thirds of this is to come from the private sector, signalling a break from Japan’s traditional focus on development aid.
The investment drive is, in turn, part of a broader strategic vision for Asia-Africa ties. During the 2017 annual meetings of the African Development Bank the leaders of Japan and India announced plans to develop the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. The initiative hopes to promote trade between Africa and ASEAN countries, as well as the likes of South Korea.
Akufo-Addo’s visit is a good reminder that, while dominated by China, there is a lot more to Asia-Africa relations than Beijing.
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