Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology’s pioneer student beneficiaries of the African Business Education Initiative for the Youth (ABE – Initiative) scholarships are among graduate students and staff expected to play a critical role in enhancing international relations through training and cultural exchange between Japan and Africa at large.
This was revealed by the President of Japan International Cooperation Centre (JICE) Sachiko Yamano, when she paid a visit to JKUAT Main Campus, Monday, February 16, 2015.
Ms.Yamano said, she was delighted to visit JKUAT during her first ever historic visit to Africa, with JKUAT in Kenya being her first stop of duty, noting she was impressed by partnership JKUAT and Japanese agencies spearheading various collaborative initiatives including the development of critical human resource among young Africans through programs entrusted to JICE by the Japanese Government agencies such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Ms. Yamano explained that JICE aims at contributing to the development of the global society through activities pertaining to strengthening mutually beneficial relationships between Japan and other nations, and implements operations of the Japanese Government initiatives such as ABE.
The visit by the JICE team which included the Deputy Director International Students Division Mr. Takashi AKao, and the Senior Program Officer Ms. Eriko Maegawa, comes after successful admission of the first batch of students to Japanese universities under the ABE scholarship program that is expected to award about 1000 scholarships to students from all over Africa.
Mr. Takashi said, out of the 156 Africans from 54 countries who applied for ABE Japan scholarships, 55 were from Kenya, out of which 10 scholarships were won by applicants from JKUAT.
He further said, the first ABE beneficiaries had already embarked on their studies and they include: Mathenge Jacquiline Njoki (International University of Japan studying International Management; Wahinya Fiona Wacera, studying Environmental and Life Science at Okayama University; Kariuki Boniface Wainaina and Ondiba Hesborn Andole at Hokkaido and Tsukuba Universities respectively, studying Environmental Science, and Life and Environmental Sciences, SUSTEP (Sustainability Science, Policy and Technology).
Speaking at the meeting, Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga appreciated the Japanese Government initiatives administered through various agencies such as JICA, and lauded the “JICE team for sensitizing JKUAT staff and students as well as sharing important information.
The information, the VC said, “will have a positive impact on the program and especially our students and staff, both teaching and non-teaching whom we will encourage to apply in large numbers during the next round of call for scholarship.”
Prof. Imbuga appealed to the JICE president to consider JKUAT as a Center for teaching Japanese language to ABE’s successful applicants before proceeding to Japan for graduate studies.
ABE initiative aims at empowering youths who have the potential to contribute to the development of Africa as well as strengthening the ties between their countries and Japan. The scholarship targets youth from the Private sectors, Government sectors and Education sector, to enable them acquire knowledge and develop skills in varied fields that are key to African development.
The meeting was addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellors: Professors Romanus Odhiambo; Esther Kahangi; Victoria Ngumi, and Prof. Manabu Tsunoda, Chief Advisor to JICA and ICT coordinator for the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN project which is setting up innovation and fabrication labs at JKUAT to spearhead applied research and innovations for Africa.