Strengthening Africa – Japan Human Resources and Academic Exchange

Mr. Masakatsu Okumoto (center) interacts with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi. Listening on is Prof. Hiroshi Koaze (left)

As a follow-up to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 8 side event dubbed, Japan-Africa University Exchange Conference, a team from JICA led by Mr. Masakatsu Okumoto visited Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in an effort to foster human resources and academic exchanges between Japan and Africa.

“As JICA, we are in the process of building an Africa-Japan University Network to promote knowledge co-creation and the development of highly qualified human resources in African countries with Japanese universities,” said Mr. Okumoto, Senior Deputy Director, Human Development Department, JICA Headquarters.

Mr. Okumoto said the network will leverage on JKUAT, PAUSTI and E-JUST to enhance linkages with JICA higher education projects in Asia and Africa, hence strengthening relations between Japanese universities and companies in Africa.

“These institutions will serve as a window to African universities for Japanese stakeholders and as Centres of Excellence for research and education in the African region,” said Mr. Okumoto.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi appreciated the delegation for the visit saying the development of JKUAT over the years has taken place in the backdrop of strong support from the Government of Japan through JICA.

Round table discussion between JKUAT and JICA official

“The linkages and collaborations between our researchers and those in Japanese universities have made it possible for JKUAT to emerge as a regional research and innovation powerhouse offering quality programmes,” said Prof. Ngumi.

Prof. Ngumi informed the visiting delegation that the University has put a lot of emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to research where researchers from different colleges and disciplines collaborate to come up with novel research outputs and innovations that are beneficial to the society.

“As we endeavor to become a research university, we encourage our researchers to engage in multidisciplinary research. Through JKUAT’s research outputs, we are determined to provide solutions to the challenges facing our communities,” said Prof. Ngumi.

The Vice Chancellor further said, JKUAT researchers strive to collaborate with peers across the globe and appreciated JICA’s linkage with Japanese universities. The move, she reiterated, has enabled the University attain her vision as “A University of Global excellence in Training, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Development.”

Strengthening Africa – Japan human resources and academic exchange

To promote collaborative quality research, the JICA delegation committed to supporting and promoting further cooperation between JKUAT and Japanese universities.

Mr. Okumoto was accompanied by Ms. Ikue Eda, Dr. Kyoko Nakano, Mr. Kenji Hayahsi, Mr. Yuji Takahashi, Prof. Hiroshi Koaze, Dr. Shohei Aoki and Ms. Mai Toda.

The delegation was received at JKUAT by the Vice Chancellor and her Deputy Vice Chancellors, Prof. Bernard Ikua and Prof. Robert Kinyua.

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