The Nippon Foundation Calls for Alliance to End Poverty in Africa

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Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, has pointed to lack of infrastructure as one of the key problems facing Africa’s farmers, preventing the kind of “green revolution” that took place in Asia. Speaking to African leaders in the plenary session on private public partnership (29 May) at the Fourth Tokyo Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), he said that “even if farmers increase their harvest, there are no markets where they can sell their produce. Or where markets exist, the farmers lack access to them.”

stands ready to play its part.

As a result, he said, "they cannot convert the increased harvest into income, so their quality of life does not improve."

"The time has come to act. Together we can form an alliance to end poverty in Africa." He stressed that The Nippon Foundation "stands ready to play its part."

Mr. Sasakawa, who is WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, said he had seen "how effective such an alliance can be in the field of leprosy. In just over two decades, the disease has gone from being a public health problem in 122 countries to just two countries today."

He concluded by highlighting the urgent problem of the soaring price of fertilizer "which has serious consequences for Africa's farmers." He called for this issue to be taken up by the G8 Summit in Japan later this year.

Over the past 22 years, The Nippon Foundation has funded the Sasakawa-Global 2000 (SG2000) programme which has worked with small-scale farmers in 14 African countries to increase and diversify their food crops and improve rural livelihoods. The programme was launched in 1986, in co-operation with former US President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Norman Borlaug, father of the "green revolution" in India and Pakistan.

To strengthen the capacity of agricultural extension services, The Nippon Foundation has funded education programmes for mid-career extensionists at 13 universities and colleges in nine African countries. To date nearly 2,300 extensionists have graduated, or are currently benefiting from the programme.

The Nippon Foundation has invested over US $180 million in these programmes.

Keyword Tags:

africa, african leaders, Infrastructure, partnership, philanthropy, poverty, poverty in africa, Sasakawa, sg 2000, ticad

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Keiko Mori
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