Mumbengegwi lambasts donors for interference


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Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the Zimbabwe’s efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger through redistributing resources had met with unjustified vilification from those who only wished to protect minority and foreign interests.

He said this at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development which was attended by representatives of 51 of the 53 African countries.

He welcomed TICAD’s different approach from other development efforts that dictated, interfered and imposed moral values without respect for the recipient countries and their people.

He also said the Global Fund was a political weapon to sanction countries for unjustified political reasons.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08TOKYO1598, TICAD IV: TOWARDS A VIBRANT AFRICA

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08TOKYO1598

2008-06-11 08:58

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Tokyo

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 TOKYO 001598

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

USAID FOR AFRICA/AA ALMQUIST AND PIERCE

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID ECON PREL JA XA

SUBJECT: TICAD IV: TOWARDS A VIBRANT AFRICA

 

TOKYO 00001598 001.2 OF 004

 

 

1. (SBU) Summary. Japan announced a myriad of commitments

to Africa, including that it would double aid to the region

by 2012, during the May 28-30 Tokyo International Conference

on African Development (TICAD). Co-sponsored by the GOJ, the

World Bank, and the UNDP, the conference brought together

representatives from 51 of 53 African countries who stressed

the importance of infrastructure in economic development, the

continent’s vulnerability to climate change, and the need to

resolve the current food crisis in both the immediate and

long term. In light of Japan’s tight fiscal situation,

however, the GOJ will likely need to make hard decisions on

the allocation of its aid budget to fulfill the promises made

at TICAD. End Summary.

 

2. (U) Representatives from 51 of 53 African countries,

including 40 heads of state or government, joined

representatives from donor countries, international

organizations, civil society, and the private sector in Tokyo

May 28-30 for the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on

African Development (TICAD IV). With “Towards a Vibrant

Africa” as its theme, the conference focused on three key

pillars — boosting economic growth, ensuring human security,

and addressing environmental issues/climate change.

 

Japan’s Commitments to Africa

—————————–

3. (U) The co-organizers (Japan, World Bank and UNDP)

stressed that Japan’s commitment to Africa was obvious since

TICAD I in 1993, when Japan called together the African

countries to share views on how Japan and others could help

Africa at the conclusion of the Cold War. This first effort

by Japan has been highly lauded in Africa for including all

African leaders to discuss such issues of development,

conflict mitigation, and ownership. Because of Japan’s early

commitment and because Japan is leading the G-8 this year,

participation in TICAD was very high, composed of African

heads of states, heads of African organizations and NGOs, the

World Bank, UN organizations, think tanks, academics, the

private sector, and bilateral donors.

 

4. (U) Prime Minister Fukuda announced several new Japanese

commitments to Africa including a doubling of grant aid and

technical assistance by 2012 and an offer of up to $4 billion

in yen loans for roads and other infrastructure projects.

Japan also plans to inaugurate the Facility for African

Investment through the trade development arm of the Japan

Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to fund directly or

to provide financial guarantees for Japanese private

investment on the continent. Fukuda also stated Japan would

provide assistance to double African rice production within

ten years, train 100,000 Africans as healthcare workers over

the next five years, contribute $560 million in 2009 to the

Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and

target a “significant portion” of Japan’s previously

announced $100 million in emergency food assistance towards

Africa.

 

5. (U) In addition, Fukuda stated that Japan, as a “peace

fostering nation,” will focus on the consolidation of peace

and peacebuilding in Africa and will pursue reform of the UN

Security Council (UNSC) so the UN is more effective in its

peacebuilding efforts. Fukuda also explained Japan’s “Cool

Earth Partnership” saying this initiative will provide

assistance to developing countries, including those in

Africa, to help cut greenhouse emissions while promoting

economic growth.

 

African Leaders Non-Committal on Bid for UNSC Seat

——————————————— —–

6. (SBU) Prime Minister Fukuda met separately with forty

African leaders on the margin of the conference to solicit

support for Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the United

 

TOKYO 00001598 002.2 OF 004

 

 

Nations Security Council, according to press reports. (Note:

The 53 African countries represented at TICAD account for

approximately one-fourth of total UN members.) Those

leaders’ responses, however, were reportedly non-committal.

 

The African View

—————-

7. (SBU) Each African head-of-delegation received an

opportunity to speak during the plenary sessions. Among

donor countries in attendance, only the EU, France and the

U.S. were offered speaking opportunities. (Note: Japan

withdrew the offer to the U.S. when USAID Administrator

Henrietta Fore could not attend the conference. End note.)

Most of the African speakers focused either on the need for

more infrastructure to boost economic development, the

continent’s extreme vulnerability to the effects of climate

change, or the need to address the current food crisis in

both the immediate and long-term. Many welcomed Japan’s cool

earth partnership, claiming Africa has not received its fair

share of the funds available under the Clean Development

Mechanism established by the Kyoto Protocol. Certain

speakers called for more foreign direct investment to

establish a viable private sector, noting Africa cannot

successfully develop if it remains simply an exporter of

minerals with no value-added. There was nearly universal

consensus among African participants on the need for Japan to

make African development issues a central theme during the

upcoming G-8 summit in Hokkaido June 7-9.

 

Rebuilding Post-Conflict States

——————————-

8. (U) Several representatives from post-conflict states,

including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Burundi, discussed

efforts to rebuild their nations. They stressed the

importance of good governance, a professional police force,

human capacity building, and the need to share the benefits

of development with all citizens and not just the elite.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf also noted the need

to help the “lost generation” of child-soldiers who had

received no education during the conflict years make the

transition back into society. She said the Liberian

government has had success in doing so by providing them with

jobs on infrastructure projects.

 

Zimbabwe Attacks Donor “Interference”

————————————

9. (U) Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi

welcomed TICAD’s “different approach from other development

efforts that dictate, interfere and impose moral values

without respect for the recipient countries and their

peoples.” He said Zimbabwe’s efforts to eradicate poverty

and hunger through redistributing resources had met with

“unjustified vilification” from those who “only wish to

protect minority and foreign interests.” He also claimed the

Global Fund “is a political weapon to sanction countries for

unjustified, political reasons.” Subsequent speakers,

including the EU’s, did not address or comment upon

Mumbengegwi’s remarks.

 

Sudan’s President Denounces Chad

——————————–

10. (U) Sudan President Omar El Bashir thanked the

international community for helping implement the 2006 Darfur

agreement, but said the country’s efforts to consolidate

peace were being hampered by external factors. He claimed

Chad is funding the Darfur rebels’ continued aggression, in

particular the May 10, 2008 attack on Khartoum, and declared

the international community should “no longer tolerate” this

situation.

 

Addressing the Food Crisis

————————–

 

TOKYO 00001598 003.2 OF 004

 

 

11. (SBU) More than thirty heads of state or government

attended a luncheon discussion on the food crisis sponsored

by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the

World Food Program and the International Fund for Agriculture

Development and co-chaired by PM Fukuda and Tanzanian

President Jakaya Kikewete (the current African Union

president). The heads of the four international

organizations described their response to the food crisis,

noting the need to address the underlying causes, not just

the emergency aspects of food security. Columbia University

Professor Jeffrey Sachs suggested one solution would be for

countries to develop national plans for delivering seed and

fertilizer to communities and to submit those plans to the UN

and World Bank for financing.

 

Four “Breakout” Sessions

————————

12. (SBU) The session on boosting economic growth centered

on the need to improve infrastructure throughout Africa to

boost economic growth. In addition, representatives from

middle-income African countries cited difficulties in

obtaining concessional financing as a restriction on their

economic potential. While several participants held out the

U.S. African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) as a model other

development partners may want to replicate, no participants

mentioned Comprehensive African Agricultural Development

Program (CAADP) established under the Organization for

African Unity’s New Partnership for African Development

(NEPAD).

 

13. (SBU) Participants in the session on environmental

issues and climate change welcomed Japan’s Cool Earth

Partnership initiative and stressed African countries need to

look at the lessons learned from the industrialized world to

avoid becoming high carbon emitters as they develop. Many

speakers called for establishing mid-term emissions reduction

targets for industrialized countries. Participants agreed

Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change and

warned natural disasters brought on by global warming, in

particular drought and desertification, could further imperil

the continent’s ability to meet the UN Millennium Development

Goals (MDGs).

 

14. (SBU) UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio

Guterres chaired the session on ensuring human security

through consolidation of peace and democratization.

Participants noted Africa’s progress in advancing peace in

recent years, but cited issues that continue to derail peace

efforts. These include land and property rights, migration

of internally displaced persons and refugees, the lack of

rule of law, the lack of jobs and education, famine, issues

related to public health and water, and climate change. The

participants stressed that “good governance” is essential to

consolidate peace and noted the usefulness and the potential

of the African Peer Review Mechanism, an African-owned

initiative. Participants observed African governance and

ownership could only be complemented by international donors

and NGOs.

 

15. (SBU) During a subsequent session on human security and

meeting the Millennium Development Goals, Japanese Foreign

Minister Masahiko Koumura a highlighted Japan’s commitments

toward achieving the MDGs and, with the participants, touched

upon the importance of community empowerment and various

donors’ initiatives in education and health. UNICEF

Executive Director Ann Veneman reported the sessions’

findings that decentralized governance and community

empowerment with a focus on women are critical to health and

education delivery, that basic and vocational education

should be strengthened, and that well balanced and

comprehensive approaches are necessary to bolster health

systems and to eradicate disease. African countries’

 

TOKYO 00001598 004.2 OF 004

 

 

ownership is needed to develop, implement, evaluate, and

monitor the MDGs.

 

The Yokohama Declaration and the Follow-Up Mechanism

——————————————— ——-

16. (SBU) The GOJ released TICAD’s “Yokohama Declaration”

May 30 to much fanfare, though some African leaders and press

reports were immediately critical, citing the document’s lack

of detail and time-bound commitments. Japan did, however,

agree to establishment of a follow-up mechanism to monitor

progress on the commitments. The mechanism establishes a

secretariat within the Foreign Ministry to track

implementation along with a steering committee consisting of

the GOJ and Tokyo-based members of the African Diplomatic

Corps, international organizations, donor countries, and NGOs

which will produce a yearly progress report. The Declaration

also calls for a yearly meeting of TICAD participants to

discuss results.

 

Comment

——-

17. (SBU) TICAD IV was an opportunity for Japan to

highlight its increasing development assistance support for

Africa. The co-organizers, the World Bank, the UN

organizations, and others joined Japan to present support for

building a “vibrant Africa.” The Action Plan and Appendix

list proposals and commitments, primarily from Japan, the

World Bank and the UN organizations, with additional

selected, though spotty, inputs from other donors. The USG’s

ongoing projects in Africa were ultimately not included in

the final text. The GOJ had offered a high-profile speaking

slot to the U.S. Director of Foreign Assistance/USAID

Administrator. This would have been an opportunity to

highlight to African heads of state and other participants

the USG’s overwhelming support for Africa, as well as the

emerging USG collaboration with Japan. Only France and the

EU sent Ministers to TICAD IV. TICAD represents a unique

space, especially this year with the G-8 Summit led by Japan,

within which African leaders can communicate their priorities

to a sympathetic audience, and where Japan, the WB and the UN

agencies, can reaffirm their commitment to the continent.

 

18. (SBU) At TICAD IV, Japan has made some bold

commitments, e.g., doubling aid to Africa. That funding

seems likely to come at a cost to other development

programming in Asia and elsewhere or to Japan’s funding of

international organizations given the GOJ’s budget deficits

and the determination of the Japanese Finance Ministry to

reduce development assistance spending by two to four percent

annually. Nonetheless, the GOJ’s fear of China’s rising

influence in Africa combined with its quest for a permanent

seat on the UNSC may spur Japan’s efforts to meet the

doubling goal but not without potentially shrinking its

footprint elsewhere in the world. End Comment.

SCHIEFFER

 

(10 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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