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Private sector's role in African growth stressed as Tokyo development conference ends

YOKOHAMA, Japan – The leaders of Japan and African nations stressed the importance of private sector investment in promoting Africa’s economic growth as they wrapped up a development conference held once every five years.

Tokyo promised 3.2 trillion yen ($32 billion) in government and private-sector aid to the region at the outset of the three-day Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

Japan is eager to catch up to rival China, which has invested heavily in the resource-rich continent.

“We hope to further support and continue to expand together with Africa. We hope to develop a win-win situation in our relationship,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a closing press conference Monday in Yokohama.

Japan’s conference for Africa has been held every five years since 1993.