On 31 March 2021, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa hosted a seminar gathering Japanese business investors, South African businesses and Government representatives for an exchange on investment opportunities presented in the South Africa SDG Investor Map. The event aimed at the identification of areas of common interest for investment towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and South Africa’s national priorities. The seminar follows the launch of the 2020 SDG investor Map in September 2020.
Over 180 participants attended the virtual event which was organised under the collaboration of UNDP Regional Bureau of Africa (RBA), Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) unit and UNDP South Africa, and it contributed to strengthening the ties between Japanese investors and the South African business community to tackle the 30 SDG investment opportunity areas identified through the Map. It also provided a strategic opportunity to highlight the commitment of UNDP under the TICAD process towards greater Japanese private sector involvement to the socio-economic development of Africa. Representation and remarks were received from the following high-level speakers:
- H.E. Mr. Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to South Africa
- H.E. Mr. Lulama Smuts Ngonyama, South African Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan
- Ms. Trudi Makhaya, Economic Advisor to His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa
- Ms. Phumzile Langeni, Presidential Special Investment Envoy, Office of the President
- Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz and business convener of the Trade and Industry Chamber at Nedlac
- Mr. Yunus Hoosen, Deputy Director-General of Department of Trade, Industry & Competition -Investment South Africa
The seminar also showcased excellent opportunities for investment in South Africa in education, healthcare, agriculture and infrastructure with trailblazers creating business-based solution to some of South Africa’s greatest development challenges. Concrete cases of investment opportunities were presented by the following project promoters operating in South Africa:
“Our role as UNDP is to fast track and facilitate the role of investment opportunities between Japan and South Africa and to show that South Africa is a solid investment destination, especially when it comes to investment that helps us to deal with unemployment, income inequality and poverty” said UNDP Resident Representative, Dr Ayodele Odusola.
During the course of 2 hours session, close to 50 questions were raised by the Japanese business sector, including but not limited to: the interlinkage between SDGs/ESG and business profit, the methodology of identifying investment opportunity areas in the SDGs Investor Map, and opportunities around tele-communication/IT in rural areas.
“South Africa and Japan have a long-standing relationship, including in trade and investment, as President Ramaphosa acknowledged when attending the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama in 2019, where he met with then-Prime Minister Abe, and the two leaders agreed to cooperate in the maritime sector and in the protection of the marine environment; to investigate a possible expansion of access to the Japanese market for South African citrus producers, and the expansion of training programmes for South Africans in both countries.” Said Special Economic Advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ms Trudi Makhaya.
The instant result from the participants’ feedback survey showed the Japanese companies’ strong interest in infrastructure (51.9%), agriculture (48.1%), health care (29.6%) and further engagement in follow-up consultations and networking with the South African Government and business sector.
Capitalizing on the initiative, UNDP will continue to facilitate networking and sharing of intelligence between Japanese business sector and the South African Government and business sector towards the achievement the Sustainable Development Goals and South Africa national priorities, in the context of building forward better.
For more information, or media interviews please contact:
United Nations Development Programme, Bobby Shabangu: firstname.lastname@example.org
TICAD Partnership Specialist/Regional Bureau for Africa, Chika Kondoh:
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