Briefing from ROAPE Volume 28 Number 87
Japanese Aid Strategy
Three years ago (RoAPE no. 75, 1998), we noted that Japan - for the first half of the 1990s the major source of official bilateral development assistance (ODA) - was cutting back on overseas aid and remarked that African governments which had seen an increase in Japanese lending over previous years would now find themselves having to negotiate harder for Japanese assistance. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has remained at the top of the list of bilateral lending agencies since 1989, with a Public Development Aid (PDA) quota of close to $10.6 billion in 1998. This figure significantly exceeded the amounts provided by any other country, even by the European Community - whose PDA amounted to only around half of that ($5.2 billion in 1997). But if the contribution is measured on the basis of the percentage of GNP allocated to developing countries as PDA, then Japan managed only 0.28% in 1998. It barely scraped 12th place in the league table of the 21 member countries of the OECD, a long way behind the USA - although Japan accounts for between 15 and 20% of the world's GNP.