Japan pledges $10bn to African infrastructure

Tokyo plans to work with the African Development Bank to jointly develop transport and energy projects.

The Japanese government has committed to invest a total of $30 billion, including $10 billion in infrastructure, to African countries by 2018, in a move seen as a show of confidence in the continent’s future. 

The $10 billion infrastructure pledge will go towards supporting the development of three regions that are of key interest to Tokyo, according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The areas covered comprise the Mombasa/Northern Corridor, the Nacala Corridor and the growth area in West Africa.  

The investment will be implemented partly through Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa, a joint initiative with the African Development Bank

A tranche of the funding will be earmarked to help create new power generation capacity of up to 2GW under PPP frameworks. It will also go towards boosting geothermal capacity, with a view to covering the demand of 3 million households by 2022.   

The country will host a “Public-Private Infrastructure Conference” in Africa to promote capital flows into the continent, the ministry said. 

“When combined with investment from the private sector, I expect the total will amount to $30 billion,” said Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a conference in Kenya. “This is an investment that has faith in Africa’s future, an investment for both Japan and Africa to grow together.”

The new package is in addition to the $32 billion Japan pledged to the African market over a five-year period at the same event back in 2013. Abe said 67 percent of the 2013 package had been spent on various projects.