Tokyo, 4 October 2023(TDI): Fukazawa Yoichi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, had the distinct honor of welcoming Prof. Mohamed Belhocine, Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (ESTI) of the African Union Commission, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo on October 3.

The courtesy call underscored the growing importance of Japan’s collaboration with the African Union (AU) on various fronts, including education, technology, and international relations.

The meeting was marked by discussions that highlighted shared goals and aspirations, fostering a sense of partnership for a brighter future.

At the beginning of their conversation, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Fukazawa extended his heartfelt congratulations to the African Union for its recent achievement of gaining permanent membership in the G20, as observed during the G20 Summit.

He emphasized Japan’s commitment to strengthening its relations with the AU in the international community, given its dual role as the G7 President and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

This commitment reflects Japan’s eagerness to work hand-in-hand with the AU in addressing global challenges and promoting international cooperation.

Furthermore, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Fukazawa commended the African Union for its relentless efforts in advancing the Agenda 2063, a transformative vision for the continent’s future.

He highlighted Japan’s significant contribution to human resource development through the AU’s Pan-African University (PAU) concept.

The Parliamentary Vice-Minister expressed Japan’s keen interest in promoting African development, especially focusing on its people, by bringing quintessentially Japanese approaches to the table.

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In response, Prof. Belhocine expressed his deep appreciation for Japan’s longstanding dedication to human resource development in Africa.

He emphasized the importance of this collaboration in the context of the African Union’s annual theme for the coming year, “Education,” underlining the vital role of education in the continent’s progress.

Prof. Belhocine also encouraged Japan to continue its support, particularly for the development of youth and women, highlighting the significance of these segments in Africa’s future growth.

Both sides concurred on the importance of continued cooperation, emphasizing their shared goals in the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process.

The commitment to working together to promote Africa’s development and prosperity was reaffirmed, fostering a sense of optimism and goodwill in the meeting.