August 28, 2019
"Japanese companies should make use of us as a dependable network."
"It is important for Japanese companies to take the first step regardless of the language and cultural differences."
"Customers are becoming much more diverse. There is no reason Japanese companies should not be too."
Impassioned opinions were stated one after another at the side event of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) held in Yokohama on August 28, 2019.
The theme of the side event was the "ABE Initiative," a long-term training program for industrial human resource development, which invites African youths to learn in Japan. Since 2014, over 1,200 youths had the opportunity to join the program as ABE Initiative participants. Both current and ex-ABE Initiative participants, Japanese enterprises, and affiliates of Japanese university took part in the event and discussed the theme of expanding the Japan-African network through the ABE Initiative. Participants exchanged their opinions on the utilization of the ABE Initiative from the viewpoint of Japanese companies and on the importance of sustaining the network once the ABE Initiative participants return home, as seen from their point of view.
Panel discussion between ex-participants and companies with experience in receiving interns