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April 18, 2022

The Knowledge Co-Creation Program: Japan-Africa Business Woman Exchange Seminar


The online training was conducted from January to March 2022 for the government officials and female entrepreneurs who support female entrepreneurs in Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Zambia, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, and Mauritius.

This training aims to promote women's business and entrepreneurship in Africa. This is in line with the "sustainable economic development through the private sector of African countries" advocated by the TICAD, Tokyo International Conference on African Development, which has been held since 1993. Since Yokohama City has previously hosted TICAD in 2015 and 2019 as well, in this training programme, the current status, issues, knowledge and efforts in women's entrepreneurship are being shared among the participants. Further, it deepens understanding of the importance of business and management strategies from the perspective of gender equality and women's empowerment, considering international trends.

In this training, we introduced the practice of crowdfunding as a new initiative. In the past, there was a dilemma that even if women involved in business could improve their knowledge and abilities necessary to practice and expand their business, it would be difficult to put into practice groundbreaking ideas without the funds that are the lifeblood of the business. Therefore, this year, we introduced a program where each trainee can experience crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding, also known as social funding, is a business practice that contributes to solving social issues by obtaining financial resources and cooperation from people and organizations in the world.

The participants commented the following, "I understood that crowdfunding is not limited to a specific business, issue, or project, but a mean that everyone can use." "It was an opportunity to start crowdfunding. I was able to create an account and share the link with my friends. "

Furthermore, the crowdfunding launched by the trainees in this training program is still being carried out. In the case their target amount is not achieved during the period, it will be utilized in the project as a financing feature.

Through these practices, each trainee seemed to have responded with a positive new approach, commenting; "I am convinced that female entrepreneurs have the potential to sustainably work if they have the necessary internal and external support." "I am confident that I can be equal to men." "I learned a lot about how to grow my business. I am ready to take a big step." I think that I was able to contribute to the goal of this training, "Strengthening the leadership of African women and the ability of entrepreneurship and management.

This KCCP programme was successfully implemented with the corporation of the following; Yokohama City officials, IC Net Co., Ltd., Yokohama SDGs Design Center, Kiheitai Inc. (crowdfunding instructor), Alphajiri Co., Ltd. in Kenya, NPO Agricultural School, Eto Vegetable Garden Co., Ltd., etc.

This year's TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in August. This training will continue to be carried out from Yokohama with the aim of contributing to the development of Africa.


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