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Economy

Kenya to host 2016 Tokyo meet on African development

Kenya is set to host next year’s Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), a key investment forum that will also boost tourism.

This will be the first time that the TICAD conference will be held in Africa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Thursday that Gambia, the other bidder to host the event, agreed to let Kenya hold the forum after talks with Deputy President William Ruto.

“I received a call last night that our friends in Gambia have acceded that Kenya should be the country to host the TICAD conference,” Mr Kenyatta said when he opened the Japan-Kenya Infrastructure Conference on Thursday.

“We are looking forward to the confirmation by the government of Japan that indeed Kenya shall be the host of the first ever TICAD on African soil.”

TICAD is held every five years and constitutes a major pillar of Japan’s foreign policy towards Africa.

The first four of the conferences were held in Tokyo; and the fifth one was held in Yokohama, Japan. During the fifth conference, Japan Prime Minister Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged a five-year $32 billion (Sh3.3 trillion) package for infrastructure and economic development.

The conference will prove a test for Kenya’s ability to host huge delegations. In the 2013 conference, forty-one African heads of state, along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, attended.

The conference will follow the high profile 10th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference that is scheduled for December this year.

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