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Commentary: TICAD is a great path to sustainable global prosperity

Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Board Chair, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Photo courtesy of The Global Fund)

For the seventh time in the last 25 years, African and Japanese leaders are meeting again to chart the way forward for a future of shared prosperity for Africa, Japan and the world. Through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), we are once again meeting and rooting for multilateralism. I have attended every one of the past six TICAD meetings. Over the years, TICAD's approach to Africa development has been characterized by mutual respect and understanding that prosperity of all citizens of the world is intricately linked. This is an approach that is much needed in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs have shown us that shared prosperity is a fundamental way for organizing global development. Led by that spirit of the SDGs, we must invest our resources and energy in the realization that the traditional dichotomies of East and West, North and South, rich and poor, must crumble. Through TICAD and other multilateral initiatives, we must continue to build an inclusive and sustainable development framework that leaves no one behind.

To get there, investments in human capital are fundamental. Good health anywhere in the world provides global health security, and good education builds global prosperity. Gains in women's health or reductions in infant mortality are linked to stronger and more stable societies. Stable societies are engines for global growth -- which brings us back to Africa development.

Much of Africa and some countries in Asia are some of the places where populations will continue to grow in the next few decades. That continued population growth can deliver a demographic dividend or a demographic disaster. That's true across the portfolio of development, including global health.

Both international and domestic investments in health are vital to ensuring that we do not lose the momentum we have built against epidemics over the years. This year, the Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion to help save 16 million lives. We are tremendously grateful to the people of Japan, who have already pledged toward this effort. Japan's commitment of US$840 million will contribute to saving 1 million lives. We are also grateful to all other international donors who have committed towards this effort.

But to stay on track in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and to build real sustainability that can end these epidemics, we must raise more domestic funds from countries that are more affected by these diseases. As the leaders meet for TICAD, they must emphasize that true commitment to multilateralism is the surest path to achieving shared prosperity. It is the way to give real meaning to the letter and the spirit of what it means to achieve sustainable development.

(By Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Board Chair of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Dr. Kaberuka is the former President of the African Development Bank.)

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