METI State Minister Seki Visits the Republic of South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Madagascar
February 14, 2019
Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
From February 3 to 9, 2019, Mr. Yoshihiro Seki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Republic of South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (hereinafter DRC) and the Republic of Madagascar.
In South Africa, he attended Mining Indaba 2019, an international conference on mining investment in Africa, and explained Japan’s efforts in related fields. Following this, he held meetings with H.E. Mr. Jacko Maree and H.E. Ms. Phumzile Langeni, Special Presidential Investment Envoys, South Africa, and H.E. Mr. Richard Musukwa, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Zambia.
In DRC, he held meetings with H.E. Mr. Desire Kolongele, Deputy Chief of Staff of the President’s Office, and other governmental dignitaries. In addition, he attended an investment meeting jointly organized by three ministries of DRC, namely the State Ministry, the Ministry of National Economy, and the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Portfolio, and exchanged views with other participants on supply of cobalt and other important minerals to Japan, and cooperation in direct investment, infrastructure development and human resources development advanced by the Government of DRC.
In Madagascar, he held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Andry Nirina Rajoelina, new President of Madagascar. State Minister Seki offered his congratulations to President Rajoelina for his taking office, and they discussed development and stabilization of mining investment environments, and cooperation in agriculture, medical care and other priority fields.
1. The Republic of South Africa
(1) Attending Mining Indaba 2019
State Minister Seki attended Mining Indaba 2019, the world’s largest conference on mining investment in Africa, which was held in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference brought together government officials, investors and representatives of resource-related enterprises from African countries, Europe, and Asia.
State Minister Seki encouraged those participants to further strengthen the relationships between Japan and resource-rich African countries in the field of mining. Specifically, he delivered a keynote speech at a seminar organized by the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), held meetings with ministers and officials in countries related to the field of resources and discussions to strengthen cooperation ties. In addition, he visited booths run by JOGMEC and other Japanese companies, received explanations from staff about Japan’s contributions to Africa in the field of mining and exchanged views with stakeholders.
Note: The term “indaba” is a Zulu word meaning a meeting in which important issues should be discussed. This was the 25th such conference.
(2) Outline of the keynote speech at the JOGMEC seminar
At the seminar, State Minister Seki delivered a speech and spoke on Japan’s intention to contribute to countermeasures against climate change through Japan’s development of electrified vehicles and on Japan’s interest in cobalt and other mineral resources necessary for manufacturing such vehicles. Moreover, he stressed the technological advantages of Japanese companies in the field of automobiles and Africa’s potential in resources, and stated Japan’s intention to address climate change issues which is a global-level challenge by establishing a win-win relationship between Japan and Africa.
(3) Meetings with Mr. Maree and Ms. Langeni, Special Presidential Investment Envoys, South Africa, and Minister Musukwa, Zambia
At the meeting with Special Presidential Investment Envoys Mr. Maree and Ms. Langeni, South Africa, State Minister Seki explained the opening of the JOGMEC Johannesburg Office, and exchanged views with them on: the development of investment environments to expand Japan’s direct investment in South Africa, including improving the operation of the New Mining Charter; and cooperation in WTO discussions on electronic commerce. Moreover, State Minister Seki communicated that Japan would like to invite H.E. Mr. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President, to visit Japan for such opportunities as TICAD VII and G20.
At the meeting with Minister Musukwa, also attended by H.E. Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe, Provincial Minister of Copperbelt Province of Zambia, the Zambia side expressed its gratitude to Japan for the significant assistance that Japan has provided to the country. In addition, both sides exchanged views on: follow-ups to the cooperation projects under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Minerals and Resources, Zambia, and JOGMEC, which was signed at the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum in May 2018; and the feasibility of future Japan-Zambia cooperation in technologies for developing and collecting cobalt and other projects.
2. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
(1) Meeting with Deputy Chief of Staff of the President’s Office, Mr. Kolongele
State Minister Seki held a meeting with Deputy Chief of Staff Kolongele and offered Japan’s congratulations to him for the country’s peaceful shift to a new administration through the presidential election at the end of December 2018. Following this, the two sides exchanged views on development of investment environments and other issues. Deputy Chief of Staff Kolongele expressed high expectations for direct investment by Japanese companies in the mining and other fields of the country.
(2) Attending an investment meeting jointly organized by three ministries
An investment meeting jointly organized by three ministries was held, bringing together H.E. Mr. Joseph Kapika, State Minister, Minister of National Economy, H.E. Mr. Martin Kabwelulu, Minister of Mines, H.E. Mrs. Wivine Mumba, Minister of Portfolio, and other officials from the Congolese side, and METI, representatives of five Japanese private companies, JOGMEC and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) from the Japanese side. At the meeting, participants held discussions on challenges facing future mining investment in DRC such as the development of investment environments and the child labor problem.
(3) Meeting with H.E. Mr. Raymond Tshibanda, Former Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional
IntegrationState Minister Seki held a meeting with Mr. Tshibanda and shared his delight with him on their reunion since TICAD V in 2013. State Minister Seki expressed Japan’s intention to contribute to countermeasures against climate change through its development of electrified vehicles and requested DRC to secure a stable supply to Japan of cobalt and other mineral resources necessary for manufacturing such vehicles. Mr. Tshibanda showed DRC’s expectations for Japan’s cooperation in transportation infrastructure at ports and harbors and human resource development.
3. The Republic of Madagascar
State Minister Seki held a meeting with President Rajoelina and H.E. Mr. Ravokatra, Minister of Mines and Strategic Resources, and offered Japan’s congratulations to President Rajoelina for his taking office. State Minister Seki requested President Rajoelina and Minister Ravokarta to conserve stable investment environments in the country for the projects in which Japanese companies have already invested, and exchanged views with them on cooperation in the fields which the new administration prioritizes, such as safety and security, agriculture, education and industrialization. Moreover, State Minister Seki invited President Rajoelina to attend TICAD VII to be held in Yokohama in August 2019.
Division in Charge
Mineral and Natural Resources Division, Natural Resources and Fuel Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy