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Oil Report

FACTBOX-Aid pledged to Africa by Japan, intl organisations

(For a story on the TICAD meeting click [ID:nT137458])

TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Japan, international organisations, and some Asian nations pledged aid to boost growth in Africa and to meet globally pledged development goals on Friday as they concluded the fourth round of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held in Yokohama, near Tokyo.

Following is a summary of key contributions in the “Yokohama Action Plan”, designed to provide a road map for African development.

FOOD CRISIS AND AGRICULTURE

-- Japan to provide a significant part of its recently promised emergency food assistance package, equivalent to $100 million, to Africa between May and July.

-- Japan to provide $250 million worth of grants and technical assistance to boost agricultural productivity, such as developing and fixing irrigation systems and doubling its 14 million tonnes a year of rice production over the next 10 years.

-- The World Bank to provide $4 billion in grants and low-cost financing and lend $1 billion through the private sector over the next five years for agricultural growth.

TRADE AND INVESTMENT

-- Government-backed lending agency Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to set up a $2.5 billion facility to encourage Japanese firms to boost investment in Africa. The facility will directly finance businesses in African countries and guarantee the financing provided by Japanese banks for businesses in Africa.

-- The World Bank to expand its International Financial Cooperation trade financing programme in Africa to $1 billion per year.

INFRASTRUCTURE

-- Japan, with government-backed aid agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to provide $350 million worth of grants and technical assistance for projects related to building transport and power infrastructure in Africa.

-- Japan to lend up to $4 billion over the next five years for projects focused on infrastructure and agricultural development.

-- The World Bank to double annual lending to $2 billion and aim to mobilise another $2 billion in co-financing power-related projects.

HEALTH

-- Japan and JICA to provide grants and technical assistance of $410 million on health projects, and to improve infrastructure and services of 1,000 hospitals and health centres.

--Japan to pledge and disburse $560 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

-- European Commission to provide $760 million under the European Development Fund over the next five years.

EDUCATION

-- Japan to provide grants and technical assistance of $420 million for education-related projects, and to build 1,000 primary and secondary schools for 400,000 children.

HOW WILL THE IMPLEMENTATION BE MONITORED?

-- Several African countries pointed out that a concrete monitoring mechanism is necessary to implement the TICAD action plan.

-- A follow-up mechanism, which did not exist in the last three TICAD meetings -- held every five years since 1993 -- said joint monitoring committee meetings and TICAD follow-up meetings should be held once a year among the conference participants.

BACKGROUND ON JAPANESE AID

-- Japan slipped to fifth place from third in overall overseas aid spending in 2007 at $7.7 billion, down 30 percent from the previous year, according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development figures, as Tokyo tried to curb its own bulging public debt.

-- Japan’s trade with Africa is a meagre 2 percent of its overall trade, and investment in Africa has been limited. (Reporting by Yoko Kubota, Editing by Michael Watson) ($1=105.56 Yen) ($1=.6446 Euro)

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