Rabat - Japan is this year giving $1.3bn in aid to
African nations to help combat the effects of climate change, Japan's
Foreign Affairs Minister Koichiro Gemba said in Morocco on Saturday.
Speaking at the start of the Tokyo International
Conference on African Development, which is being held in Marrakech,
Gemba noted Japan had also given $340m to
fight major diseases on the continent and had provided aid to countries
in the Horn of Africa region to tackle droughts.
Several African countries are facing food shortages as
conflict and climate-related crop failures take their toll. The United
Nations' food agency last week launched an appeal for funds for Africa,
and said 265 million people on the continent regularly go hungry.
Started by Japan in 1993, the Tokyo conference aims to
drum up investment and keep development of Africa at the top of the
Erastus Jarnalesse Mwencha, the deputy chair of the
African Union Commission, noted that many African nations were recording
a positive economic growth rate, despite difficult conditions.
"Sustainable development from now on depends on the
consolidation of security and peace, and the processes of
democratisation and good governance," he said.
This year's conference is being attended by 51 African nations and co-hosted by Morocco.