President Muhammadu Buhari and over 20 African leaders are participating in the seventh edition of the Tokyo International Conference for African Development.
Also known as TICAD 7, the summit kicked off on Wednesday at the Pacifico Yokohama, in Yokohama, Japan.
Daily Trust learnt that there are bilateral talks between Nigeria and Japan planned to hold during the conference.
Other African leaders in attendance include; Egyptian president and AU chair Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, George Weah of Liberia, Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita of Mali, Andry Rajoelina (Madagascar), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), and Paul Kagame (Rwanda).
Also in attendance were Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo (Somalia), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Faure Gnassingbe (Togo), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), and Macky Sall (Senegal), among others, including senior officials of the United Nations, the World Bank, and other bodies.
This is as police have tightened security in host city Yokohama. From Tuesday, officers set up checkpoints on roads leading to the convention center, and frogmen from the Japan Coast Guard also patrolled underwater, as the venue is on a seafront.
The Japanese government wants to use TICAD 7 to unveil a three-year investment package, as it aims to expand its presence on the African continent, whose population is rising, with the UN projecting that by 2050, one in four people on earth will be African.
Japan, a pioneer in hosting meetings with African leaders, has recently shifted focus from aid to investment, with officials in Tokyo stressing that they want to focus on high-quality infrastructure projects, as well as increased support for training young African engineers, among others.
A number of events are underway on the sidelines, with participants talking about pressing social issues, including the promotion of health care and medical services.
Over 150 Japanese companies and organizations from a range of industries are hoping to find African business partners.
From inception, TICAD has been held in Japan, except for TICAD VI, which was held in Kenya.