NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 27 (UPI) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged billions of dollars to support Africa’s economic growth and infrastructure over the next three years and backed the bid for African countries to acquire a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
According to Bloomberg, Abe’s promised investment of $30 billion at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Kenya is meant to show his “faith in Africa’s future.”
“Let us make this stretch that is from Asia to Africa a main artery for growth and prosperity. Let us advance together, Africa and Japan, sharing a common vision,” he said.
While speaking in front of the heads of 34 African nations, Abe said about $10 billion of the investment would go toward electricity-generation projects and upgrading urban transport systems and ports.
An additional $500 million will be allocated toward Africa’s health initiatives against epidemics and public health emergencies such as Ebola and other health related issues, Abe said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who hosted the conference, urged wealthier nations to remain open to the idea of trading with developing nations.
“The critical ingredients of prosperity in the last half century have been free and fair trade, infrastructure integration of regions, educated and productive citizens who enjoy economic liberty and responsible government,” he said. “Yet there is now a trend among many countries to turn toward more isolationist or grossly unfair positions on trade.”
Sputnik News reported Abe also spoke up in support for Africa’s efforts to attain permanent representation on the U.N. Security Council by 2023.
“The enormous continent of Africa has no permanent member to the United Nations Security Council. Agenda 2063 states clearly that by 2023, it will rectify this situation. Please accept my complete support on this point,” he said.