Japan, US Aid Agencies Consider Africa Water PPP Fund
25 Jul 2012 - 11:28 by OOSKAnews Correspondent
united states, WASHINGTON DC — Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) are considering creating an Africa water private-public partnership fund, according to JICA President Dr. Akihiko Tanaka.
“We have launched a series of consultations with USAID on opportunities for public-private partnerships, and these conversations are starting to bear fruit,” Tanaka said at a Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) event in Washington, DC, on July 23.
“In particular, we are considering establishing an Africa water PPP fund with USAID Development Credit Authority to expand access and attract private investment to Africa’s water sector,” he added.
The event, “Prospects for US–Japan Cooperation in Development,” focused on three areas in which the two nations have already established strong working relationships -- global health, food security and private-public partnerships -- and five geographical regions where there could be further cooperation.
“While the U.S. and Japan have ongoing productive partnerships in these fields, I believe we can go even further. I see five challenges for deep engagement -- China, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Asia-Pacific region and post-MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) agenda,” Tanaka said.
Since 1993, when the US and Japanese governments signed a “milestone” agreement on development cooperation, their joint efforts “most prominently focused on fighting infectious diseases and increasing access to safe drinking water,” according to the JICA president.
However, this relationship now is really “beginning to blossom” and both are “finding many opportunities to work together,” he added.
Tanaka said fluctuating climate and food price spikes, along with continued global hunger, has shown both nations that “more needs to be done on food security.”
“Here, too, we have found ‘complementaries.’ Japan’s strength, I believe, lies in training agricultural workers to increase agricultural productivity and manage water resources,” while the US has strengths in storage, he said.
The two development organizations, JICA and USAID, recently signed an agreement to improve food security in Africa, focusing on Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal.
As for the five areas of deep cooperation, China has transitioned from a nation that needed development assistance to one that can give development assistance, making it an emerging donor that Japan and the United States should “continue to engage” to further “mutual understanding, share best practices and advance the global development agenda.”
Tanaka said he believes strongly in US and Japanese development cooperation, a relationship that is more mature today than in the 1990s, and that he will “strive to upgrade the level of cooperation between Washington and Tokyo.”
“By working more closely together, I believe we can accelerate progress on today’s global challenges to create a better future for all,” he said.