A special advisor to the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Yukio Okamoto has said that Japan will stand with Africa in the continent’s bid to develop its human resources. Mr. Okamoto said it was through investments in science, technology and innovation backed by a qualified human capital that Africa can unlock its potential.
The official who was speaking Tuesday February 7, 2017 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology gave the example of Japan; which he said, solely relied on its human resources in aftermath of debilitating World War II, for its economic success.
Mr. Okamoto added that JICA remained committed to the implementation of the JKUAT-hosted Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI).
JICA is currently implementing the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project that aims to strengthen Africa’s knowledge and skills in fields of agriculture, engineering, science and biotechnology.
Through the Project, participants are encouraged to promote African innovation by using local resources, knowledge and wisdom.
While receiving the official at JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said the strong culture of research and innovation that defines JKUAT today, is attributable to the strong foundation laid by the Japanese in the establishment of the University.
Prof. Imbuga added that the practical orientation of JKUAT’s teaching and research programmes had seen the varsity’s graduates emerge as most preferred by employers.
The Vice Chancellor further lauded JICA for unflinching support to JKUAT in terms of infrastructure, trainings and research funding.
Prof. Imbuga also noted that JKUAT remains committed to the realization of Africa’s Agenda 2063 through hosting PAUSTI as well as other technology transfer initiatives. The blueprint aims to reposition Africa as a strong and dynamic force in global affairs.
PAUSTI is an African Union-led graduate training institution currently having 253 masters and doctorate students drawn from 28 African countries.
Mr. Okamoto also called for staff and student exchanges between Kenyan and Japan to further foster relations and understanding between the two countries.
The official was accompanied to JKUAT by the Director, Africa Division 1, JICA Headquarters (Japan), Mr. Daisuke Watanabe; Chief Representative, JICA Kenya Office, Ms. Keiko Sano and Senior Representative JICA Kenya Office, Mr. Kazuhiro Tambara.