Japan is committed to supporting Africa’s human capacity building and industrialization agenda, an official has said. Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology on Friday, 14 July, 2023, Japan Ambassador to the African Union Toshihiko Horiuchi, added that Tokyo was happy to work with African countries to catalyse skills transfer among the youth and lay stable foundation for sustainable development.
Ambassador Toshihiko lauded JKUAT for its effective hosting of the Pan African University (PAU) Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI). The Institute opened its doors to an inaugural group of 54 young African scientists in November 2012.
As the lead thematic partner for PAUSTI implantation, the official noted that Japan was also keen on learning from the African experience as both sides work to generate durable solutions for societal challenges.
Welcoming the official to JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said that Japan’s strong support to JKUAT had delivered many beneficial outcomes in teaching, research and innovation enterprise.
“JKUAT and PAUSTI alumni are playing important development roles both within government and the private sector in Africa and beyond,” added Prof. Ngumi.
The Vice Chancellor said that JKUAT was keen to deepening collaboration with Japanese universities and industries to facilitate effective technology transfer through products development. The University, she noted, was already working with some Japanese companies such as Wago, KJS, Tobe and Fujita.
While briefing the visiting delegation PAUSTI Registrar Dr. Jane Ngethe said the Institute has so far admitted a total 1,083 students drawn from 43 African Union Member States to pursue masters and doctorate programmes in engineering, molecular biology and biotechnology, mathematics and data science. Dr. Ngethe further said that 563 students have since graduated from PAUSTI.
Dr. Ngethe who received the delegation on behalf PAUSTI Director, Prof. Gabriel Magoma, thanked Japan for the steadfast support leading to upgrading of teaching and research infrastructure at the facility.
Ambassador Toshihiko who visited several laboratories in JKUAT and PAUSTI said that both institutions provide an important opportunity for partnership with Japan beyond academia, including with industries.
JKUAT was established in 1981 as a middle level college through technical bilateral partnership between the government of Kenya and the government of Japan. The institution has since grown to become the most preferred public university in Kenya among young people seeking higher education.
PAUSTI, on the other hand is one of the five institutes of the Pan African University – an African Union led continental graduate training and research institution aimed at promoting Africa’s integration and socioeconomic transformation through higher education.
Ambassador Toshihiko was accompanied to JKUAT by former JICA Senior Vice President Toshiyuki Nakamura, Ryu Nagae from Mission of Japan to AU and other officials. On hand to welcome the delegation to JKUAT with Prof. Ngumi were deputy vice chancellors: Prof. Bernard Ikua (Administration and Finance); Prof. Robert Kinyua (Academic Affairs) and Prof. Jackson Kwanza (Research, production and Extension)