Japan Has Africa at Heart: JICA President Affirms

Prof. Kitaoka interacts with a section of JKUAT engineering students during his visit

Prof. Kitaoka interacts with a section of JKUAT engineering students during his visit

Japan has reiterated its commitment to support African countries in their development programmes, the new Japan International Cooperation Agency President Prof. Shinichi Kitaoka has said. He identified training and capacity building as a critical area of partnership that has potential to drive the continent forward.

Kitaoka who was speaking Tuesday December 1, 2015 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) lauded the progress of the institution, built by JICA through a technical cooperation between Government of Japan and Government of Kenya, in 1981.

JKUAT, he proffered, was an exemplary model case of international cooperation; given what it has become. The University which now hosts the African Union led Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) has become a creative tool for Africa’s socio-economic integration and progress through higher education, the official averred.

Prof. Kitaoka (left) with Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Odhiambo at the modern farming demostration stations

Prof. Kitaoka (left) with Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Odhiambo (centre) at the modern farming demonstration stations

Prof. Kitaoka talked of the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to be hosted in 2016 in Nairobi for the first time in Africa by Kenya as pointer towards fostering Japan- Africa ties. The forum brings together African heads of state, regional organizations, the private sector, development partners among others to discuss Africa’s development aspirations.

Receiving the official at JKUAT, Chancellor, Prof. Geoffrey Ole Maloiy paid tribute to JICA for its fundamental role in the advancement of JKUAT. Japan, Prof. Maloiy said had made significant advances in research which can be adopted to provide solutions to Africa’s pressing socio-economic challenges.

JKUAT Chairman of Council, Prof. Paul Njuki said JKUAT had no better friend than JICA given its historical input in the establishment and operationalization of JKUAT.

Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo outlined a panoply of projects that had been actualized with JICA support including laboratories, teaching and administrative spaces.

JICA President is taken through renewable energy research project at JKUAT

JICA President is taken through renewable energy research project at JKUAT

While at JKUAT, the official toured laboratories, and various research sites, where he had an opportunity to interact with various JKUA innovations.

Among JKUAT officials who were present during the short ceremony were Deputy Vice c Chancellors: Prof. Esther Kahangi, Prof. Otoki Moirongo and Prof. Victoria Ngumi.

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