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TICAD 8: It is through private investment that partnership can be scaled up (Senegal's Sall)

"No matter how important is official cooperation, it is still insufficient," Senegalese President Macky Sall told attendees of the opening session of TICAD 8, the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (August 27-28 in Tunis).

"It is through private investment that our partnership can be scaled up to ensure shared growth," he added.

The Senegalese president hailed the Japanese and African private sectors for their participation in the conference. He also called on Japan to innovate and look for solutions to seek a way out of traditional cooperation considering that the regulations of the World Trade Organisation do not provide for high trading volumes.

It is regrettable that African Union member Morocco failed to attend to conference, he said, over the lack of consensus about the issue of representation.

He expressed the hope the issue will be definitely solved to secure the smooth functioning of the union and a successful partnership.

"Since its launch, TICAD continues to deliver on its promises by yielding concrete results, notably in education, training, agriculture, health and water resources. Such performances make of TICAD a reference partnership mechanism. "

In connection to pharmaceutical sovereignty, Sall said he seeks expanded partnership, particularly in vaccine manufacturing and biotechnological material in the continent. "This is possible as a number of countries already embarked on the the process," said the Senegalese president.

"In times of acute economic crises, the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the war in Ukraine are taking their toll on African countries."

"This is why we keep on advocating for special drawing rights (SDRs), an issue which requires the full mobilisation of Africa and the international community. The SDRs need to become a reality to underpin post- COVID-19 recovery efforts."

There is likewise need to advocate for the effective implementation of the G20 initiative on the suspension of debt-service payments as a measure to support efforts to strengthen economic resilience and recovery.

"Africa wants a fair and equitable energy transition that allows countries to tap into available resources to secure sought-after economic competitiveness and universal access to electricity," further said the President.

"Food sovereignty is a challenge that needs to be taken up as soon as possible," the President of Senegal added. This is possible through the development of large-scale agricultural production, processing and a better conservation of products.

The continent has over 60% of arable lands and considerable water resources and labour force, thus the importance of promoting public/private partnerships. He said, in this vein, he had requested the support of G20 members to have the African Union sit on the council. This will help the African bloc better defend the continent's interests.