The Secretary-General of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 7, Mr. Shigeru Ushio, said over 250 official side events are to be held at the forthcoming forum in Yokohama, Japan, in August. He said these events will include seminars, symposiums and setting up the booths and panel exhibitions. Mr Ushio, who is also the Director-General, African Affairs Department of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remarks while briefing visiting journalists from Africa on the level of preparedness of the event. He said at TICAD 6 held in Kenya in 2016, 142 seminars and symposiums and 104 booths and panel exhibitions were held. According to him, since he has been engaged in African diplomacy for many years, TICAD has established its position as a pioneer of international meeting in African development, as well as an inclusive forum open to everyone who is willing to talk. Besides, Mr Ushio said, a Japan Business Council for Africa has been established as a permanent conference forum between Japanese investors and countries on the continent. The DG said this would enable Japan entities have businesses in Africa with all the authorities involving governmental organizations and ministries concerned for the purpose of enhancing trades, investments and business relationship between Japan and Africa. He explained that the council was formed following the establishment of TICAD 7 Public-Private Roundtable Meeting in March 2018, based on the change of business environment after TICAD 6 and on-going status of international efforts.