Does a Multilateral Forum Work for Africa? Daunting Tasks of Japan’s TICAD Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to discuss the recent emergence of multilateral forums for African development. By focusing on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) led by the Japanese Government, the paper considers key issues and challenges that this new type of multilateral forum may face.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper reviews the existing literature in an interdisciplinary manner. To illustrate the multiplicity of issues and highlight diverse viewpoints, the study also provides an overview of a panel discussion at the fifth TICAD meeting as an exemplar by using a coding method.
Findings: The study suggests that a multilateral forum based on policy dialogue between a single donor and multiple recipients is likely to not only pose extremely complex tasks for the donor nation but also potentially constrain aid effectiveness in African countries unless the recipients’ ownership of their development is properly identified through sensible leadership.
Originality/value: Although “one donor–multiple African countries” forums are on the rise across the world, this paper calls for careful examination of the effectiveness of new type of multilateral forums for Africa. Through the evaluation of the contribution of TICAD, which is the pioneer for this kind of forum, this paper sets out essential elements to be considered by researchers and policymakers for the development of Africa.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Development Issues
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)62-75
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Foreign aid
  • Multilateral forum
  • Multilateralism

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