July 19, 2024


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Statement on the Death of Former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe

30th Anniversary of the Sasakawa Foundation in 2016 in Tokyo (Source: African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Shinzo Abe was a gentleman, a caring and visionary leader, who worked for a better and more peaceful world.

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 11, 2022/ — I wish to express my condolences and sympathies to the Government and people of Japan on the tragic death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

We mourn the loss of a great global statesman.

Shinzo Abe was a gentleman, a caring and visionary leader, who worked for a better and more peaceful world. He will be greatly missed.

Shinzo Abe had a special love and affection for Africa.

During the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-6) in 2016, I had the privilege of huddling together with him and several heads of State, to help find a way to provide Africa with access to Japanese cleaner energy sources. The result of that meeting was an invitation to visit him in Tokyo and a subsequent decision by the Japanese Government to provide a major clean energy financing facility to Africa.

During the 30th Anniversary of the Sasakawa Foundation in 2016 in Tokyo, he graced the occasion and delivered a moving and memorable speech about the importance of food security in Africa.

We met again in 2019, at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron during the Biarritz G7 leaders summit. As always, he was keenly supportive of the African Development Bank’s efforts to support African women through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative (AFAWA), for which the G7 subsequently helped to raise $450 million, with a goal to mobilize $5 billion for women in Africa.

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the African Development Bank was given prominence in the foreign policy of Japan. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the African Development Bank signed the $3 billion Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA-3) and $3.5 billion EPSA-4 agreements for co-financing in Africa, further boosting investments in Africa’s infrastructure and private sector.

It is to Shinzo Abe’s credit that the term “quality infrastructure” was coined and mainstreamed into the global financing of infrastructure by the G20.

Under Shinzo Abe’s exemplary leadership, ties between Africa and Japan became stronger than ever.

We will be forever indebted to the lasting contributions Shinzo Abe made to our continent.

I send my deepest condolences to his dear wife, family, and the government and people of Japan at this time of much sorrow.

I share in your sorrow and pain on the loss of one of the finest global leaders of our generation. Shinzo Abe’s death is a huge loss to Japan and to the world.

May his soul rest in peace.

Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina
President, African Development Bank Group

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