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Towards a Vibrant Africa: Continent of Hope and Opportunity


The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) entitled “Towards a Vibrant Africa: Continent of Hope and Opportunity” provided an opportunity to strengthen recent positive political and economic trends in Africa. The conference was held on 28-30 May 2008, in Yokohama, Japan.

Within the framework of the TICAD process, the United Nations University organized five official side events on topics of relevance to African development as well as other related public events. The Rector of the UNU participated in the TICAD IV session entitled “Addressing Environmental Changes” and acted as the leader of the session entitled “Adaptation and Disaster Prevention”.

UNU TICAD Official Side Events

Critical Intersection: Climate Change and Security

2008.05.28 (Wed.)

Time: 11:15–12:30

Location: UNU-IAS (6F International Organizations Centre, Pacifico-Yokohama), Yokohama, Japan

Contact: Claudia ten Have

This seminar, convened by UNU-IAS, introduced and examined the impact of climate change on security in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, it focused on food security, water scarcity and armed conflict; natural disasters and human security; and opportunities for critical interventions to facilitate peace and development.

Speakers and discussants included Obijiofor Aginam, Academic Programme Officer, UNU Peace and Governance Programme; Claudia ten Have, Associate Fellow, UNU-IAS; Srikantha Herath, Senior Academic Programme Officer, UNU Environment and Sustainable Development Programme; Brian Ngo, OECD African Partnership Forum (APF); Christian Webersik, JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellow, UNU-IAS; and representatives from Japanese ministries, the African Diplomatic Corps, and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

Education for Sustainable Development: Focus on Regional Centres of Expertise in Africa

2008.05.28 (Wed.)

Time: 13:15–14:15

Location: UNU-IAS (6F International Organizations Centre, Pacifico-Yokohama), Yokohama, Japan

Contact: Yoshihiro Natori, UNU-IAS

This seminar, convened by UNU-IAS, introduced the UNU network of Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs), and in particular showcased their role in achieving sustainable development in Africa. The event included the screening of a documentary on environmental and sustainable development challenges in the Greater Nairobi region. For more information about the RCEs, see the IAS website.

Speakers and discussants included Yoko Mochizuki, ESD Specialist, and Yoshihiro Natori, Senior Fellow, of UNU-IAS.

Capacity Development and Policy Needs for Environment Management Technology Development in Africa

2008.05.29 (Thu.)

Time: 14:00–15:30

Location: UNU-IAS (6F International Organizations Centre, Pacifico-Yokohama), Yokohama, Japan

Contact: Srikantha Herath or Fukuya Iino

Technologies for environmental monitoring and management are vital for appropriate environmental governance for sustainable development. This seminar focused on the critical need for improving relevant local capacities in a sustainable manner through higher educational opportunities and policies fostering the development and application of such technologies, which with population and development pressures placing increasing stress on the environment, the need is growing more urgent.

Speakers and discussants were Stephen Simukanga, Vice-Chancellor, University of Zambia; Masaru Yarime, Associate Professor, University of Tokyo; Sanga-Ngoie Kazadi, Dean of International Cooperation and Research, Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University; and Srikantha Herath, Senior Academic Programme Officer, United Nations University.

High-Level Panel: Science and Technology for Africa's Sustainable Development

2008.05.29 (Thu.)

Time: 15:45–16:45

Location: Intercontinental Yokohama Grand (Silk Room), Yokohama, Japan

Contact: Claudia ten Have

This high-level panel convened by UNU-IAS aimed to provide key practitioners, policy-makers and commentators in the field of science and technology with an opportunity to highlight areas where Japanese and international expertise can be of direct relevance to African efforts to establish policies and programmes supporting sustainable development.

Speakers and discussants included Eckhard Deutscher, Chair, OECD Development Assistance Committee; Calestous Juma, Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS; A.H. Zakri, Director, UNU-IAS; and others.

Innovative Centre on Education Support for Africa

2008.05.29 (Thu.)

Time: 17:00–18:00

Location: Intercontinental Yokohama Grand (Silk Room), Yokohama, Japan

Contact: Soisik Maubec

This seminar presented a joint initiative by UNU and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) known as the Innovative Centre on Education Support in Africa. The aim of this initiative was to help sub-Saharan countries meet the challenges facing their educational systems. Within the framework of this initiative, four African universities have conducted research focusing on (1) policies and reforms of educational systems in Africa, (2) programmes, pedagogy and teaching tools, (3) training of teachers in Africa, and (4) research on education in Africa. The main findings of these research projects were presented at TICAD IV.

Speakers and discussants included Pierre Kouraogo, University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Komlavi Francisco Seddoh, UNU Council Member; and others.

Related Public Events

Fourteenth U Thant Distinguished Lecture

26 May 2008 (Mon.)

Time: 15:30–17:20

Location: UNU Headquarters, Tokyo

Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari has made numerous vital contributions to international peace and security and has successfully brought together opposing parties in conflicts around the globe. His lecture on “Negotiating Peace in Africa, Asia and Europe” drew upon his extensive experience to highlight our shared responsibility to help and protect our fellow human beings.

U Thant Distinguished Lecture Series

Pre-TICAD Public Forum on Science and Technology for Africa

26 May 2008 (Mon.)

Time: 11:00–17:30

Location: Pacifico Yokohama Conference Centre, Yokohama

This pre-TICAD Public Forum convened by UNU-IAS highlighted the role of science and technology as essential tools for Africa’s sustainable development, assessed Japanese science and technology contributions to the African continent, and identified future areas for Japan–Africa partnerships to advance development, improve the quality of life, and find innovative policy and technological solutions to environmental and development challenges.

Speakers included Calestous Juma, Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS; Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Science Advisor to the Cabinet of Japan; Masaru Iwanaga, Director General, NARO; Kiichiro Fukasaku, Counsellor, OECD; and others.

IAS website

Commemorative Lectures of the Inaugural Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize Laureates

29 May 2008 (Thu.)

Time: 10:00–12:00

Location: UNU Headquarters, Tokyo

The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize was established by the government of Japan to honour individuals who have made outstanding achievements in combating infectious diseases in Africa or in establishing innovative medical services. At this event, organized by the Cabinet Office of Japan and co-organized by the Science Council of Japan and UNU, the inaugural Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize laureates, Dr. Brian Greenwood, Manson Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Prof. Miriam K. Were, Chairperson of Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council, delivered commemorative lectures on, respectively, “Malaria elimination: Is it possible?” and “The Potential for Improvement in Africa's Health”.

Cabinet Office website


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