China, India and Japan Set to Host Major Summits To Further Strengthen Ties in Africa
In the midst of questions about how China’s economic health will impact Africa, the foreign ministers of China and South Africa have announced that the sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be upgraded to a summit. Nearly a decade after the first China-Africa Leaders summit which was held in Beijing, this summit will be held on the continent in Johannesburg on December 4-5 of this year. Notably, this news comes as India gears up for its own summit with African leaders. Scheduled for October 26-29 in New Delhi, the India-Africa Forum Summit is believed by some to be the “most significant diplomatic engagement” that the Modi government will hold at home this year. Although this marks the third such India-Africa summit, this year’s event not only will be significantly larger than its predecessors (in which only 15 or so African leaders participated ) but is also “the largest gathering of leaders at [this] level ever in the country.” To date, 35 of the 54 invited heads of state have confirmed their attendance.
Keeping pace with its counterparts, Japan will host the sixth Tokyo International Conference on Development (TICAD) in Kenya in 2016. An “open, multilateral and international forum to discuss the future development of Africa,” TICAD began in 1993 as an initiative of the Japanese government and now is co-organized by the World Bank, UNDP, the African Union Commission and the United Nations. Next year’s meeting will mark the first time that the event is being held in Africa.