Thank you for your cooperation in the activities of Japan Citizen’s Network for TICAD (Afri-Can, hereafter referred to as “this network”).

We are announcing the disbandment of our network as of March 31, 2020. This Network was founded in March 2014 with a view to working more effectively as a network, reflecting on the civil society activities at TICAD V (2013). This Network has been working with African civil society to bring the voices of citizens to the TICAD process, aiming to make TICAD truly useful to African people, and have also been working on information dissemination activities in Japan in order to strengthen our ties between the Japanese and African people.

Some examples of its achievements include, the organizing of a “Discovering the charm of Africa” seminar series along with side events during TICAD-related meetings where information on the role of civil societies in Japan and in Africa was transmitted. Additionally, we worked to include the sentence that “nobody will be left behind” in the outcome document of “Nairobi Declaration” of TICAD VI (2016). We were also successful in changing the title of the draft of the outcome document of TICAD7 “Yokohama Declaration” presented at the Ministerial Meeting originally entitled “Advancing Africa’s Development through innovation, technology, and people.” We advocated for “human-centered development” perspective and pushed to have the world “people” come first in the title. We have made visible results in our policy proposals, as seen from the adoption of the recommendations made by this network.

At the time of its establishment, the network was set to end at the end of its fiscal year of TICAD VI. However, based on the transition of TICAD from once every five years to once every three years, we have agreed to extend until the end of fiscal year of TICAD7 (2019). After conducting questionnaires to member organizations, interviewing stakeholders, and discussions at regular meetings after TICAD7, we reached this conclusion.

Many people have expressed their appreciation to the role played by the network so far. However, TICAD, which was originally aimed for the development of Africa in recent years, in spite of its name, has a higher priority to “boost the expansion of Japanese companies into Africa.” Given the shift, many participating organizations reconsidered their efforts and resources to participate in TICAD and to make policy recommendations, against the volume of activity of the network to date. We have come to a conclusion that the current level of involvement will be a difficult one to maintain.

After the disbandment of this network, the “Japan NGO-Liaison Group for TICAD” will be launched as a more loosely formed network focusing on communication and coordination of civil society organizations interested in TICAD, and share information amongst the interested NGOs. In addition, there will be a period in which each organization and individual will consider how to deal with TICAD in the future.

We would like to thank you to all who have cooperated with our network so far. We will also need your advice on how civil society should work towards TICAD8. We look forward to your continued guidance and encouragement.