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International Women’s Day: Highlighting JICA-DSP Scholars’ Invaluable Contributions to the ICT Sector in Kyrgyzstan

March 7, 2023

JICA Interviewee Profile


Name: Isaeva Elvira
Country of Origin: Kyrgyzstan
Faculty and University: School of Economics, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
JICA Course: JDS (The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship)
Study Abroad Period: September 2022 ~ October 2025
Research Area/Theme: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and ICT tools

Ms. Isaeva Elvira, who works at the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic discusses in detail, her experience as a JICA-DSP scholar pursuing doctoral studies at Ritsumeikan University in Japan.

Life in Kyrgyzstan, China, and now Japan

Isaeva Elvira grew up in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, popular for its walnut forests, mineral resources, and mountainous terrain. She recollects spending her childhood studying and playing the komuz—the national instrument of Kyrgyzstan.

Motivated by the growing popularity of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in her home country and her own exemplary performance in mathematics and physics, she decided to pursue a career in the Information Technology (IT) sector. After having worked as a web programmer in China for a while, Isaeva obtained her second degree in Economics, before settling for her role in the Krygyz government as an IT specialist in the Ministry of Economy.

Her pursuit for quality knowledge through JICA-DSP

As a government employee, Isaeva was exposed to the challenges and barriers plaguing the IT sector in her country. Her role demanded her to acquire in-depth knowledge across different areas in the IT field and develop the expertise to combat IT-related challenges on a day-to-day basis.

Isaeva's pursuit for quality knowledge pushed her to pursue her doctoral studies in Japan. "Japan is a developed country and has already passed through the phase that developing countries like Kyrgyzstan are witnessing right now. So, learning from the experiences of Japanese people can help us tide over our challenges and barriers, rather than us having to pass through the same," Isaeva adds while discussing what motivated her to study in Japan. That is the very purpose of JICA Development Studies Program for future leaders.

Studying in Japan as a JICA-DSP scholar


"JICA has taken care of all our needs and has ensured a conducive environment for us to focus solely on studies. I am also grateful to my professor Makoto Kakinaka who always motivates me and explains complex research methods in simple words," she adds. She stresses that unlike in her home country, education in Japan is more inclined towards conceptual learning and quality, with a focus on delivering essential scientific know-how to students.

While she mostly finds herself busy studying, Isaeva is fascinated by the experience of living and witnessing the diversity in culture, language, and food that Japan has to offer.

Isaeva muses, "Besides the focus on qualitative education, Japan's success has many lessons to learn from. Developing countries mostly think that lack of financial capital hinders development of the country, but here in Japan, I realized that the values of time management, obedience to law, public order and cleanliness, and patience have a very important role in contributing to the success of governments."

Taking her learnings back to Kyrgyzstan


Isaeva believes that by pursuing her doctoral studies in Japan, she can learn the skills to identify sensitive factors and underlying problem areas in her country. "A problem looks big when you lack the knowledge on how to solve it, but when you gain knowledge, you can easily solve that problem," adds Isaeva. She wishes to use her learnings and knowledge gained in Japan to contribute to the development of the IT sphere in her country.

Isaeva also stresses that she will behold the importance of Japanese lifestyle and values. She further remarks, "The key to success is a discipline, a healthy lifestyle, and moral upbringing of everyone – government employees and citizens."

Advice for young women engaged in the scientific field

Isaeva believes that with the advent of IT and cellular technology, women in Kyrgyzstan have found new avenues to better their professional and financial development. She muses, "Young women are also very ambitious, open-minded and on the lookout for knowledge these days. It is very exciting for women to go abroad and study, and take up IT education, especially through opportunities provided by JICA."

Isaeva further adds, "Children are the future of our country and must seize such opportunities, use their time wisely, and do their best to contribute to their countries with new ideas. Young women who wish to pursue studies in the field of IT and seek scholarships should explore this opportunity. JICA supports us in every way, and Japan offers just the ideal, safe, and conducive environment for scholars to grow and reach great potentials. It is also a very safe country for women to live and work in."

She wishes aspiring JICA scholars from her home country success and growth, and hopes that they contribute to the advancement of IT back home.

Beginning of life in Japan and her enthusiasm

Isaeva has only just begun her doctoral studies in Japan, and until it culminates, she wishes to enrich her own experience and gain more knowledge. "Power of knowledge and the potential of a person is limitless, and I wish to imbibe as much as I can and contribute to the development of my country," concludes a hopeful Isaeva.

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