The Federal Government on Saturday called for increased trade ties between Japan and African.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo made the call at the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama, Japan.
A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Umar Sanni, quoted Sambo as describing increased trade as critical to sustaining economic growth.
The vice-president, who is representing President Goodluck Jonathan at the Summit, regretted the trade imbalance between Japan and Africa.
He argued that if Africa was to sustain her recent economic development, the expansion of trade within the continent and also with the rest of the world, including Japan, was critical.
“While the value of total two-way trade between Japan and ASEAN countries was over $205bn in 2012, trade between Japan and Africa was a paltry $29bn in the same period. To enhance the level of trade between Africa and Japan, therefore, there is an urgent need to promote private sector interface between Japan and Africa under TICAD,” he stated.
He, however, acknowledged the strides achieved under TICAD, since its inception in 1993, particularly in Nigeria, in the areas of rural water supply, basic education, health care delivery, rural electrification and women empowerment, among others.