African countries, others identify emerging challenges in continent

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Heads of State and Government delegations from Japan and 54 African and partner countries have identified emerging challenges in African countries.

The countries’ representatives made the observation in a joint ‘’Nairobi Declaration’’ at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), held in Nairobi, Kenya, from Aug.27th
to Aug. 28th.

The Declaration also had the support of 74 international and regional Organisations, representatives of the Private Sector and Civil Society Organiations (CSOs) from Japan and Africa.

They identified the continent’s challenges to include the decline in global commodity prices, ebola outbreaks, radicalisation, terrorism, armed conflicts and climate change.

“We acknowledge and share concerns on three major emerging challenges that have been impacting the development landscape in Africa since TICAD V in 2013.

“Firstly, we recognise that the decline in global primary commodity prices has exacerbated fiscal pressure and debt sustainability of many countries.

“Secondly, the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease has caused loss of lives, crippled socio-economic activities in affected countries and impacted the rest of the continent.

“Thirdly, the rising wave of radicalisation, acts of terrorism and armed conflicts impedes social cohesion, destroys livelihoods and deepens vulnerabilities,’’ it said.

The representatives also acknowledged in the declaration that most African economies needed further diversification to reduce dependence on the primary commodity sector, especially the extractive industries.

They also agreed in the declaration that countries build resilient and sustainable health systems in achieving human security, maintaining and promoting national productivity, and generating wealth in their communities.

“We reiterate the importance of social stability to address radicalisation, terrorism and violent extremism through a multidimensional strategy encompassing political, economic, social and cultural dimensions,’’ it said.

TICAD, which was started in 1993, is a multilateral forum for international cooperation on African development.

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