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             16 May 2000


On Friday, 19 May 2000, the United Nations University (UNU) will host a Public Forum for "Africa Day." The theme of the forum is "A Global Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity: A Message from Africa."

This public forum is being jointly organized by the Africa Diplomatic Corps, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and UNU. The forum, supported by Asahi Shimbun, will serve as a prelude to the 37th anniversary celebration of OAU (Organization of African Unity) Day on 25 May.

Africa is a richly endowed continent in terms of its peoples, cultures, ecosystems and natural resources. Yet the performance of Africa's economies over the past three decades has generally been poor, with sometimes-tragic results. Since the mid-1990s, however, a large and increasing number of countries have posted improved growth performance. Among the key questions the forum will consider are "How can this recovery be sustained?" and "How can Africa develop more quickly in the 21st century?"

It is fitting that this forum will be held in Tokyo; over the past decade, Japan has become a champion of the African cause in terms of development and partnership. At the end of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development II (TICAD II; 1998), the second major conference of the decade on Africa to have been held in Japan, a Tokyo Agenda for Action was adopted. This Public Forum for "Africa Day" will consider the progress of the various programmes and processes established as part of this Agenda to support the development of Africa, as well as take a fresh look at Africa's cooperation with Japan and the rest of the world in the important area of global partnership.

Scheduled speakers include M. Amadou Toumani Touré, former President of Mali; Ambassador Hisashi Owada, President of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA); Ambassador Yoshio Hatano, President of Foreign Press Center; K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN/ECA); Kimio Fujita, Chairman and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Yoshihiko Saeki, President of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO); and UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel.

The 19 May forum will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the 3rd floor International Conference Hall at the UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. Simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Japanese will be provided. It is open to the public, but advance registration is required. Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. A copy of the programme is attached.

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For further information please contact
The UNU Public Affairs Section
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246
Fax (03) 3406-7346




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