Japan to Pledge Support for Road-Construction in Africa
Japan's Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, will pledge the country's support for building a key road connecting four African countries when he joins an international conference on African development.

This is to be held in early May in Cameroon, says a government source.

Kishida will likely announce that Japan will bear part of the construction cost through its official development assistance at the two-day ministerial meeting of the Tokyo International Conference of African Development, the source said. The Foreign Minister is scheduled to arrive in Cameroon on Saturday following his visit to Denmark.

The proposed road will connect western Ghana with the three surrounding countries: Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso. The Foreign Ministry sees high potential for economic growth in these four countries.

Furthermore, Japan aims to encourage Japanese firms to expand business in Africa by assisting in improvement of local infrastructure. The support is also supposedly aimed at boosting Japan's influence on the continent, at a time when China is gaining presence with heft economy aid.

In order to determine the construction cost of the envisioned road, a field survey will be started by the end of 2014 says the source, adding that Tokyo plans to allocate some portion of 650 billion yen it pledged for improving the infrastructure in Africa at the TICAD meeting in Yokohama last year.

The Foreign Minister Kishida will fly to France in order to attend a ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Economic and Development Co-operation later this year.