Japan and Zimbabwe Rekindle Their Relationship: After Years of Strained and Effectively Stalled Relations between the Two Countries, Economic Cooperation Is Ramping Up

By Marima, Tendai | African Business, August-September 2016 | Go to article overview

Japan and Zimbabwe Rekindle Their Relationship: After Years of Strained and Effectively Stalled Relations between the Two Countries, Economic Cooperation Is Ramping Up


Marima, Tendai, African Business


In its hunt for natural resources, new markets and better relations, Japan's interest in Africa continues to shift from a traditional humanitarian aid approach to one including investment, potentially signifying a more proactive engagement between Japan and African states that, under the right conditions, could be mutually beneficial.

This month, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) will be hosted on the continent for the first time, in Kenya, and it seeks to move beyond the traditional aid policy objective (our special report on TICAD starts on page 65).

With the assistance of the UN, World Bank and African Union, TICAD has been held every five years between African and Japanese heads of state to steer development cooperation approaches, but since TICAD V in 2013, Prime minister Shinzo Abe has announced Japan would add another dimension to its relations with Africa. At TICAD V, $16bn was earmarked for private development. This year promises more engagement, with a platform for at least 100 potential Japanese investors to consider ventures in African industry, agriculture and infrastructure development.

South Africa traditionally ranks as Japan's biggest trading partner in the region, but in recent years, Japan's investments in Mozambique's gas industry, Ethiopia's tobacco markets and even Zimbabwe's automobile industry have been signs of a significant shift in Tokyo's tone.

After more than a decade of strained relations, in March, Abe welcomed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's state visit to Japan with a $5,301 grant to support road construction. Due to allegations of human rights abuses of the political opposition, as well as the state-sanctioned violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms, in 2002 the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe and the US followed suit in 2003. While Japan did not implement any measures, relations with the Mugabe government cooled and bilateral support was largely restricted to relief assistance.

Upward trend

With the improvement of the political situation and the easing of EU sanctions in 2012, Japan's engagement with Zimbabwe has been on an upward trend, particularly this year as the two countries have negotiated a number of potentially significant trade agreements. A special economic zones bill offering competitive concessions to foreign investors in industry and finance recently passed its second reading in Zimbabwe's parliament.

The measure authorises pilot projects in three cities to be funded by Japan and offers foreign investors an exemption from indigenisation, a controversial empowerment law that mandates 51% black ownership in all foreign companies worth over $500,000.

Raised as a strong concern by business people during President Mugabe's March visit, the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Zimbabwe confirmed to African Business that an exemption was made and this is one of the projects Zimbabwe could market at TICAD VI.

On the back of President Mugabe's March visit, a Zimbabwean trade delegation visiting Japan in June clinched a major automobile trade deal to ship 10,000 new and second-hand tractors to Harare. As part of a skills transfer agreement, 40 Zimbabweans would be trained by Tokyo on how to make and recondition vehicles and tractors.

Japan's billion dollar global used-car industry has found a market ready and waiting in Africa, particularly in Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, where the low-priced Japanese cars are popular despite government attempts to ban sales. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Japan and Zimbabwe Rekindle Their Relationship: After Years of Strained and Effectively Stalled Relations between the Two Countries, Economic Cooperation Is Ramping Up
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.