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Master's Degree and Internship Program of African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative)

February 28, 2023

ABE Initiative Regional Networking Event for Southern Africa


  • Event name: ABE Initiative Regional Networking Event for Southern Africa
  • Date: February 28, 2023 (Tuesday)
  • Organizer: JICA South Africa Office, JICA Botswana Office, JICA Namibia Office, JICA Zimbabwe Office
  • Location: Online + On-site (Namibia & Botswana)


  • Connecting six southern African countries (South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe) and Japan online, and held Networking Event. 44 ABE Initiative alumni
  • 26 current ABE Initiative participants
  • African government officials
  • Japanese Embassy officials in South Africa
  • Japanese company personnel

(In total 91 participants)


Opening Remarks
OKADA Kaoru, Chief Representative of JICA South Africa Office

Presentation by Ex-participants
- BAUT Sabina Decelia (ABE 8 batch, Zimbabwe)
- NGWENYA Nkosingiphile Sikelela (ABE 5 batch, Eswatini)
- MONGANGANE Chere (ABE 6 batch, Lesotho)
- SHIMHANDA Senior (ABE 5 batch, Namibia)
- NONG Tlou Jacob (ABE 6 batch, South Africa)
- MAPHULA Pelontle (ABE 3 batch, Botswana)

Presentation by Japanese company
MATSUMOTO Nobuhiko, Director of Assentia Holdings Inc.

Closing Remarks
H.E. USHIO Shigeru, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Africa


With the goal to cultivate "navigators" that support African businesses between African industrial human resources and Japanese companies, JICA implements the ABE Initiative (African Business Education Initiative for Youth), which is aimed to provide opportunities to African youth for obtaining a master's degree from Japanese universities and implementing internships in Japanese companies.

This event was conducted online connecting Japan and six southern African countries. The main objectives are 1) To share the experience and knowledge JICA program participants gained through the programs 2) To create business collaboration opportunities between JICA program participants and Japanese companies or organization, as well as promotion the ABE Initiative's excellent human resources to local and Japanese businesspeople.


The event started with opening remarks from the Chief Representative of JICA South Africa Office and followed by report presentation of the 6 ABE Initiative ex-participants from six participating countries.

They presented about their experience in Japan as well as their activities after the ABE program. All succeeded in their career and played an active role. For instance, ex-participant from Botswana have started solar power business, the presenter from Lesotho has established clothing business and won the prize at the business contest, the ex-participant from Eswatini has become an independent consultant after reinstated in the position at the government. One of ex-participants from Namibia who researches the development of water-based rocket engine fuel as a PhD candidate at the University of Tokyo shared his hopes to joint research with the university in his home country. The ex-participants from the Republic of South Africa, who was reinstated as Deputy Director of Ministry of Small Business Development and showed his passion to promote collaborative projects with Japanese SMEs, also had a lively discussion with fellow ex-participants who attended the same event.

PhotoPresentation by ex-participant from Namibia

After ex-participants' speech, Director of Assentia Holdings Inc., Mr. Matsumoto followed the presentation. He introduced the current situation of the agricultural support program "TOKYO8*", which uses a plant activator born from sludge treatment in Tokyo, is expanding in Africa by ABE ex-participants from other regions. He shared his dream to start a franchise business in Africa.

Lastly, the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Africa made closing remarks. He gave encouragement to each presenter and expressed his high expectations for the future collaboration between Japanese companies and ABE ex-participants. The event was a precious opportunity for everyone who attended the event to reassure the power of the networking.

*In March 2023, TOKYO8 received the SDGs Deputy-chiefs' Award (by Foreign Minister) at the 6th Japan SDGs Award.

PhotoPresentation by Assentia Holdings Inc.

PhotoClosing remarks of the Ambassador of Japan to South Africa

PhotoGroup photo


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