【TICAD】 Request for Reconsideration of a visa denial to a civil society participant of TICAD Meeting in Mozambique

August 15, 2017

Japan Citizen’s Network for TICAD

Request for Reconsideration of a visa denial to a civil society
participant of TICAD Meeting in Mozambique

Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), a multilateral initiative for African
development led by the government of Japan, has always had its door open for civil society, private sector,
and international organizations. The First TICAD VI Follow-up Ministerial Meeting is expected to be held
in Maputo, the capital of the Republic of Mozambique, from August 24–25, with diverse participation
including civil society, private sector, and international organizations, as well as African and other
governments, to ensure a multi-sectoral dialogue for African development.

Unfortunately, the opportunity for this multi-sectoral dialogue for African development is now at risk. On
10 August, The Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique in Tokyo has expressed that the government
will not issue its visa to Ms. Naoko Watanabe, South Africa Program Officer, Japan International
Volunteer Center (JVC). Until now, there has been no explanation for the decision denying her a visa.
This is the first case of a visa denial in the 24-year history of TICAD for a civil society applicant who wants
to participate in TICAD. We, Japan Citizen's Network for TICAD, express our deep concern regarding
this decision to deny Ms. Watanabe a visa.

JVC, a prominent Japanese civil society organization working for international cooperation, has been
working for community development in diverse countries and regions of the Global South. In the Republic
of South Africa, it has been working for capacity building of community health workers and supporting
community groups of people living with HIV/AIDS. These projects are based on human security and aim
to achieve SDGs in the region. Ms. Watanabe is an expert with many years of experience working on
projects in and for the region. It will be a great loss for the TICAD meeting that Ms. Watanabe, who is the
program officer working directly for these projects, will not be able to participate in the TICAD meeting,
which will be held in Southern African region for the first time in eight years after TICAD Ministerial
Meeting in Gaborone in 2009.

We, Japan Citizen's Network for TICAD, request the government of the Republic of Mozambique to
reconsider their decision and to issue a visa for Ms. Watanabe. We also request TICAD Co-organizers,
including the government of Japan, African Union Commission, UNDP, UNOSAA, and World Bank, to
request that the government of the hosting country to reconsider their decision. TICAD Co-organizers
should prevent such an exclusion of civil society participants for the future of TICAD. We believe that it is
necessary to keep the unique value of TICAD, which is an open and multi-sectoral initiative for African
development, under the principles of co-ownership and partnership.

Signatures (Alphabetical order)
1. Overseas CSOs: Civic Commission for Africa, African Network against Illiteracy, Conflicts and Human
Rights Abuses (Cameroon), Development Diversity Services (Botswana), East African National Networks
of AIDS Service Organizations (Tanzania), Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme
(Tunisia, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) ONG-Diplomatie et Paix Internationales (Burkina Faso)
2. Japanese CSOs: Africa Japan Forum, Africa Rikai Project, CSO Network Japan, Japan National
Assembly of Disabled Peoples' International, Japan International volunteer Center (JVC), Japan NGO
Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability, JOICFP, Little Bees
international, Oxfam Japan, Save the Children Japan, Women’s Forum Fish, and other 2 CSOs