Universities Call for Strong Africa-Japan ties ahead of TICAD 8

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi gives her remarks during the virtual meeting

Over 100 academicians from 9 African and 12 Japanese Universities convened virtually during a side event of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 8 conference, August 22, 2022.

The conference organized by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) provided a platform to discuss revitalization of human resources and academic exchanges between Japan and Africa.

President, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Dr. Kazuhito Hashimoto, said the TICAD 8 side event dubbed, ‘Japan-Africa University Exchange Conference’ was vital in expanding Africa and Japan’s people-to-people exchanges.

“As we strive to further our collaborations, and share knowledge and experiences, it is important to note that mutual understanding and trust through face-to-face exchanges are integral to the continued cooperation between Japan and Africa from both a scientific and diplomatic viewpoint,” said Dr. Hashimoto.

Speaking on behalf of his organization, Dr. Hashimoto said JST recognizes the benefit of steady efforts to promote international exchanges and collaborations, noting JST is implementing an exchange programme known as Sakura Science Exchange Programme.

“The programme, running under the umbrella of industry-academia-government collaboration, is geared towards building the capacity of young researchers both in Japan and Africa in science and technology, in order to create a sustainable world for the future,” said the President.

Universities Call for Strong Africa-Japan ties ahead of TICAD 8

While thanking the Government of Japan through JICA for the invaluable support accorded to African universities including JKUAT, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi urged the universities to leverage on partnerships and explore joint research to provide solutions to challenges facing the continent.

“As JKUAT, we have leveraged on the partnership we have had with Japan through JICA, to become one of the leading universities not only in Kenya, but in the region owing to our orientation and recognition as a practically oriented technical university,” said Prof. Ngumi.

Prof. Ngumi’s sentiments were echoed by her colleagues from the 9 African universities who advocated for closer collaboration, saying that human resource development in Science Technology and Innovation is a key ingredient in achieving a prosperous Africa.

On building the human capacity of Africa, Prof Ngumi highlighted the role of JKUAT as host of the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) in promoting scientific research and technology transfer/integration in Africa through higher education.

“It is gratifying to note that PAUSTI students and alumni continue leveraging their endogenous knowledge to create novel interventions to Africa’s challenges,” lauded Prof. Ngumi.

The Vice Chancellor further said, JKUAT is willing to partner with the Government of Japan, through JICA, Japanese Universities and Companies and further contribute to industrial development and advanced research activities for the whole of the African continent.

“We have the potential to be the one-stop Center for Japanese Universities and Companies for sustainable development,” concluded Prof. Ngumi.

The virtual conference was organized in readiness for the eighth edition of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) which is slated for August 27-28, 2022 in Tunisia.

Inaugurated in 1993, the event which aims to consolidate international support for Africa’s inclusive growth, is being held in Africa for the second time after Kenya played host in 2016.

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