Sunday, 2 June 2013

SA welcomes Japanese funding

YOKOHAMA - South Africa and the continent will soon benefit from about R325 billion in Japanese Aid, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government seeks to catch up with China for a piece of action on the continent.

He announced the five-year commitment in a speech at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

Africa is now one of the fastest-growing continents, something that's caught the eye of Japanese exporters.

The continent’s natural gas and oil are also of interest to the Japanese government, after the 2011 Fukushima disaster led to the closing of Japan’s nuclear plants.

Japanese politicians said they wanted better relations with Africa.

"What Africa needs are private-sector investments and public-private cooperation that can make the best use of them," Abe said.

Japanese companies want, access to the continent's rich mineral resources.

Experts say Japan sees Africa as an opportunity for expansion at a time when the domestic market is contracting because of an ageing population.

And with more Japanese investments in Africa, at least 30,000 jobs stand to be created over the next five years.

"For an example in terms of the car production they’ve got a number of productions that they are doing in SA. How much that increase the skilling of our own people. How therefore do we transfer skills in those kinds of relationships. How much they can invest on other things that we are developing. We are emphasising manufacturing for an example" said President Jacob Zuma.

The Japanese appear to have prepared for this as one thousand talented African youths will also benefit from Japanese bursaries, and get an opportunity to study at universities and work as company interns.

Source: eNCA

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