Officials Root for Strong Africa-Japan ties ahead of TICAD

Prof. Imbuga (center) with Mr. Mihara (right) and  Mr. Yamagiwa at JKUAT

Prof. Imbuga (center) with Mr. Mihara (right) and Mr. Yamagiwa at JKUAT

Two Japanese officials have called for enhanced and targeted cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) between Africa and Japan.

Science and Technology Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Prof. Teruo Kishi said, human resource development in STI is a key ingredient in the achievement of a prosperous Africa.

Prof. Kishi said, Africa has faced a number of challenges, citing most recent as Ebola outbreak, terrorism, plummeting international resource prices and climate change.

He rooted for joint research and development as well as dissemination of findings in areas such as agriculture, nutrition, and climate change as a sustainable response to such socio-economic shocks. He added that targeted synergies augmented with responsive policy frameworks would ease the actualization of Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The technocrat was speaking Thursday, August 25, 2016 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where he lauded the University’s research and innovation efforts and output.

Prof. Teruo (centre) gets a feel of how the macademia dehusker, an innovation by JKUAT engineers works

Prof. Teruo (centre) gets a feel of how the macadamia dehusker, an innovation by JKUAT engineers works

Speaking earlier at JKUAT, Acting Chairman of Japan-AU Parliamentary Friendship, Mr. Asahiko Mihara said JKUAT had made significant strides in the provision of higher education and the beneficial relations between the University and Japan would be fostered for greater impact not only in Kenya but also in Africa.

While receiving the officials to JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said the strong foundation that the people of Japan laid at JKUAT had enabled the institution to emerge as a centre of excellence in training, research and innovation.

Prof. Imbuga who informed the visiting team that JKUAT had the highest number of engineering students in Kenya, added that the University would continue with its track record of producing competent manpower that is attuned to the demands of knowledge-based economies.

DVC Research, Prof. Esther Kahangi explains to the visiting officials about JKUAT tissue culture banana research

DVC Research, Prof. Esther Kahangi explains to the visiting officials about JKUAT tissue culture banana research

Prof. Imbuga commended the Government of Japan for coming on board as a key thematic partner for the implementation of the JKUAT based Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI).  Pan African University is a brainchild of the African Union which aims to foster integration of Africa through higher education.

The officials were in Kenya in readiness for the sixth edition of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) which is slated for August 27-28 in Nairobi, Kenya. The event which aims to consolidate international support for Africa’s inclusive growth is being held in Africa for the first time since inception in 1993.

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