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Interview: Nigerian official wants Suga to further boost Japan-Africa ties

  • October 8, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 6:27 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)–Yewande Sadiku, executive secretary and CEO of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, has said she hopes Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, will bring the Japan-Africa relationship to a higher level.

“I believe that Japan and Africa have complementary (relations) in many ways,” Sadiku said in a recent online interview with Jiji Press, while stressing that Japan and Africa can further strengthen cooperation in such fields as technology transfer.

Suga’s predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who upheld so-called global overview diplomacy, proactively encouraged Japanese companies to invest in Africa to enhance Japan’s economic relationships with African countries.

Sadiku praised the Abe administration’s efforts, saying that a long ladder connecting Japan and Africa was created under Abe’s leadership. She said she hopes to cooperate with Suga to “go higher on the ladder.”

The executive secretary called for Japanese companies’ investments in the African economy, which she said is expected to grow as young people make up the majority of its population, highlighting the contrast with Japan, which is facing the rapid graying of population.

“Japan has capacity to participate in the economic transformation of Africa,” for example, by promoting industrialization, Sadiku said.

Amid the new coronavirus pandemic, the African economy has been dealt a heavy blow, like many other economies.

But Sadiku said that Nigeria’s strengths, such as its rich natural resources, including oil and gas, and the massive domestic market, will not be affected by the fallout from the virus crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis “doesn’t change the value of all things,” she said.

Among African nations, Nigeria is the biggest economy and has the largest population, of some 200 million people.

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