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Japan to Invest Billions in Africa

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, shakes hands with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a symposium on human security held on the sidelines of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama, Japan, June 2, 2013.
Japan will provide $1 billion in aid over the next five years to northern Africa for economic development and humanitarian efforts, including help with security and counter-terrorism measures.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the assistance Sunday, on the second day of the three-day Tokyo International Conference on African Development, being held in Yokohama, south of the capital city.

The money is part of the $32 billion in government and private-sector aid Abe announced on Saturday.

Abe says the investment of public and private funds over the next five years is aimed at helping growth on the continent and encouraging Japanese companies to invest there.

The prime minister began targeting Africa for investment opportunities shortly after taking office last year.

Around 50 African leaders are in Japan for the conference, covering economic development and concerns over peace and security in the region.

The conference, which is held every five years, began in 1993. This year's conference ends on Monday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.