THE Japanese government is not lending money to the African private sector for major projects because of the high indebtedness of some African countries, a senior government official here has said.
The assistant minister and director general for African Affairs in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Shigeru Ushio said some African countries were failing to service their debts and could therefore not provide guarantees required by the private sector to borrow money for major projects.
He cited Mozambique as an example.
Mr Shigeru, who was speaking ahead of an inter-ministerial meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, to be held here over the weekend, said the situation had been worsened by African countries’ over-reliance on their natural resources.
“International prices for this natural resources have been low, we appreciate that they are recovering but African countries need to diversify their economies,” he said.
He said one of the critical areas for countries could look at was agriculture.