Nine hundred Africans will in the next four years get scholarships to undertake masters studies at Japanese universities to strengthen and build capacity and networks between Africa and Japan. The programme by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
dubbed: African Business Education Initiative for the Youth (ABE), targets young Africans below the age of 39 drawn from the private sector, academia and civil servants who have concluded their first degree.
The programme is a commitment by the Government of Japan to support dynamic growth of Africa, with emphasis on public-private partnerships. Successful participants from key fields such as engineering, agriculture, management and administration will take between six months and two years in Japan.
Beyond acquisition of skills in their thematic training areas, the initiative also aims to enhance better understanding of the Japanese society and its enterprises. This will then enable the participants to be linchpins in spearheading Japanese businesses in Africa.
Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Tanaka Kaori of JICA urged young Africans to take advantage of the opportunity to further their education and make a contribution in the advancement of the continent.
Ms. Kaori also said her agency was already working with a number of universities in Japan where the beneficiaries would be seconded for the masters studies. She urged JKUAT to also explore possibilities with partners in Japan to further expand the data base of universities where Kenyan participants can be attached.
Prof. Martin Obanda of the Varsity’s Research, Production and Extension Division said JKUAT was committed in working with JICA to ensure the programme becomes a success. He reiterated that the university enjoys beneficial collaboration with a number of Japanese universities which can provide an excellent network for the attachment of successful programme participants.
Ms. Kaori was accompanied to JKUAT by Evanson Njenga of JICA Kenya Office and Hayashi Nobue, Assistant Director, Technical and Higher Education Division, JICA.