The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) and its Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ) initiative, organized a series of events during the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V). The events, most of which were organized in partnership with other major domestic and international organizations with an interest in AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, focused on the role that Japan has played—and should continue to play—in promoting Africa’s economic development through its leadership in the global fight against communicable diseases. There was a general sense of hope and optimism in the events, as the investments that have been made so far to fight communicable diseases are producing results and saving lives. But precisely because we are seeing returns on those investments—which have led to a decrease in the number of deaths in children due to malaria, scientific discoveries that help us prevent HIV transmission, and innovations that have made tuberculosis easier and faster to diagnose—we cannot be complacent and shift support away from communicable diseases at this critical moment. The events organized by JCIE/FGFJ attracted high-level participation from the Japanese government, giving those responsible for making decisions about Japan’s contributions to the Global Fund and other global health initiatives a chance to hear from African heads of state and ministers, along with heads of the world’s major health organizations, about the importance of continuing these investments. The excitement generated by these events and the sense of common purpose among the participants reflected how far we have come so far in the fight against communicable diseases and are hopefully illustrative of where we are going.
FGFJ Diet Task Force Roundtable
May 31, 2013
The FGFJ organized a Diet Task Force Roundtable featuring Senegalese Minister of Health Awa Marie Coll-Seck, former UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, and Global Fund Executive Director Mark Dybul. Eight Diet members from five different parties took part in the roundtable, where they heard about new opportunities in the field of communicable diseases and reaffirmed Japan’s support for the Global Fund.
May 31, 2013
JCIE and the FGFJ teamed up with the Health and Global Policy Institute to organize a symposium on corporate engagement in global health. The symposium highlighted various innovative partnerships among the corporate sector, the public sector, and international organizations aimed at improving health in Africa. Speakers emphasized that these investments in health will have a positive impact on Africa’s economic development and open up more opportunities for Japanese companies to share in the fruits of that development.
Let’s Talk about AIDS: Africa and Japan’s Shared Challenges
June 1, 2013
The FGFJ worked with the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explore the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the challenges that persist—in Japan and throughout Africa. Japan’s First Lady Akie Abe joined her counterparts from African countries for the event, which also featured Japanese AIDS activists and leaders from international agencies at the forefront of the global fight against communicable diseases.
June 2, 2013
JCIE and the FGFJ joined forces with the Global Fund, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and UNAIDS to organize a high-level panel on recent progress that has been made in the fight against communicable diseases. Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete opened the event, which featured a panel of experts in communicable diseases.
June 2, 2013
Along with JCIE, the Global Fund and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) organized a reception and private dinner on malaria at TICAD V in partnership with the FGFJ. UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Special Advisor to the UNSG on the Millennium Development Goals Jeffrey Sachs, FGFJ co-director Ichiro Aisawa, South African singer and activist Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and the heads of the Global Fund and RBM spoke at the reception about the need for a continued global partnership to reduce the devastation caused by malaria, particularly among young children in Sub-Saharan Africa. During the dinner, World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan and Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus praised the Global Fund and RBM for their dedication to reducing the suffering caused by malaria. The dinner offered an informal setting for Japanese Diet members and representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Health, Labour and Welfare to learn more about the needs and opportunities in the malaria field.