Ambassador's Message

2020/12/4

Greeting from Ambassador

Ambassador pic
 
Self-introduction
My name is HORIUCHI Toshihiko, Ambassador of Japan to the African Union. Thank you very much for visiting the Mission’s Home Page.
 
I arrived in Addis Ababa and took office on 22 October 2020. This is my third African country to serve as diplomat. My professional carrier has been characterized as a full of linkage with African affairs. I have worked in the Japanese embassies in Senegal (1993-1995) and Zambia (2008-2011). I also assumed a director in charge of African affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. Africa has thankfully formulated what I am as a Japanese diplomat, and Africa is always, and I am sure it will be, the main focus of my interest. So I am extremely excited to be back in Africa!
 
At the same time, I know I arrived during the challenging time.
The COVID-19 pandemic is globally impacting many aspects of our lives including African people. Japan is responding to the current pandemic in Africa and taking “build back better” measures after the COVID-19, such as;
- Japanese assistance to the health sector through the TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) process, has been helping Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Our assistance is systematically crafted so as to contribute not only to counter-measures against the pandemic in the narrow sense, but to setting up a robust and inclusive health and medical system with a view to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as well as to addressing economic and social challenges as a whole.
- These assistance packages include a 1 million USD assistance project to the Africa CDC during the year 2020 by providing equipment and building their capacity.
 
In 2021, African countries will embark on their trade in goods and services under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Japanese businesses show their interests in it. AfCFTA demonstrates Africa’s openness, and is a shining hope in the recent self-centered developments in many parts of the world.
 
In the area of peace and security, the African Union has tackled many tasks in these areas under the theme of “Silencing the Guns by 2020 (STG).” Japan, under the framework of the “New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA)”, initiated at TICAD 7 in 2019, has been engaged in African peace and security.
 
In 2021, I acknowledge the African Union will kick off its new term with new leadership. Japan, together with new AU colleagues and other partners, will continue to cooperate, based on the Japan’s spirit of “Africa’s ownership and international partnership” in areas including the new AU theme of art, culture and heritage in the post-COVID period. When we tackle this area of theme, it will not only help energize people in Africa, but also must bring to the world a diverse point of view.
 
Recently, potential challenges have come up as actual in front of us - the challenges that brought the severest hardships to vulnerable people throughout the world. Africa is no exception. Facing these challenges, Japan stands by Africa to realize human security at the dawn of a new era. Japan continues to be a reliable partner, as has been so.