[Senegal] Reporting Session / Networking Fair 2023 was held in Senegal to promote collaboration between JICA long-term training ex-participants and Japanese companies.

JICA training ex-participants from Senegal held a face-to-face meeting with Japanese companies stationed in Senegal and Senegalese government officials to report their achievements of their studies in Japan

On December 20, 2023, a meeting was held in Dakar, the capital of the Republic of Senegal, to report on the results of six JICA long-term ex-participants, including those from the ABE Initiative. Japanese companies stationed in Senegal, Senegalese companies, Senegalese government officials, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Senegal, and others were invited. At this reporting session/networking fair 2023, there was a lively discussion about collaboration between Japanese companies and JICA training ex-participants, and how to make the ABE Initiative a fruitful program for participants from Africa.


Group photo

The event started with a welcome speech by Mr. Yoshimizu, Senior Representative of JICA Senegal Office. Senior Representative Yoshimizu expressed his joy at being able to share the experiences of JICA training ex-participants with Japanese companies and government officials through the reporting session. He then explained the outline of the training programs, and finally expressed to the ex-participants that his hopes for their further contributions to the business network between Japan and Senegal which raised the awareness of the attendees. Afterwards, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Senegal gave an opening address. Next, Kakehashi Africa, an organization made up of alumni of JICA Africa students, and the alumni association of JICA trainees from Senegal, introduced their activities. As a way of sharing experience, a presentation was made by Mr. Seringe Modou Faye (physician at Medina Yoro Foulah Hospital), who participated in a 20-day topic-specific training (health care) in Japan. He talked about how he interacted with students, professors, and medical professionals when he visited universities and medical institutions while he was in Japan, and explained this deepened his insight into the differences in medical equipment between Japan and Senegal.


Opening speech
From the left
Mr. Papa Biram Thiam (Director of Technical Cooperation Bureau)
Mr. Osamu Izawa (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Senegal)
Mr. Jun Yoshimizu (Senior Representative, JICA Senegal Office)
Mr. Massar Sarr (Secretary General of the National Employers Council (CNP))

Considering strengthening ties with Japanese companies through presentations by JICA training ex-participants

Next, six JICA training ex-participants introduced their majors and internship experiences in Japan which raises awareness of the importance of these training programs among Senegalese government officials, the private sector, and Japanese companies stationed in Senegal. In addition, the network among ex-participants were strengthened through their introductions.

Two ex-participants then gave their presentations on the theme of "How to improve the ABE Initiative's internship program so that the Japanese private sector can expand into Senegal." Based on these presentations, a discussion was held among four panelists below and a lively Q&A session was held as shown below. This demonstrated how highly interested JICA training ex-participants are in the expansion of Japanese companies into the Senegalese market.


- Ms. Diarietou Gueye (Kakehashi Africa Country Manager) (ABE3 batch)
- Ms. Marieme Sarr (ABE 7 batch)
- Mr. Massar Sarr (Secretary General of the National Employers Council (CNP))
- Mr. Mamadou Ndome (JICA Senegal Office)

The following questions and issues were raised by event participants.

  • The awareness of the program may be insufficient due to lack of communication among all parties involved, including young people applying for the program, ex- participants, Senegalese government officials, and Senegalese private companies.
  • Private companies in Senegal should actively accept internship training for ABE students.
  • Providing support to applicants and further support to ex-participants as it may lead to increase in the number of participants and smooth employment of ex-participants.
  • Changing the system, such as by getting rid of an age limit of 40 years old, the number of people who wish to participate in JICA training programs will increase and more ex-participants can be supplied to Senegalese government agencies and private companies.

In response, the panelists gave the following responses:

  • In order to improve the lack of communication, networking is being created among JICA training program ex-participants, and the private sectors of Japan as well as those of Senegal are also engaging with each other through chambers of commerce and industries in both countries in an effort to enhance the relationship. Therefore, we understand the needs of each company to some extent and are able to adapt to the objectives of the JICA training programs.
  • Regarding support for Senegalese private companies, establishing a human resource development center based on Japan's experience may facilitate more connections with the Japanese private sector.

Participants made the following recommendations to improve future programs.

  • Increase awareness of the program.
  • Internship training conducted by Japanese companies in Japan should match the content of JICA training programs, and conducting practical internship training conducted in Japan should be considered in Senegal.
  • Expand the training system for Senegalese. (In addition to ABE, SDGs, JDS, government-sponsored study abroad and so on, more options for training programs (or study abroad programs) through scholarship systems should be expanded)
  • Build a support framework (mechanism) to promote entrepreneurship for ex-participants who wish to start a business in Senegal.
  • Encourage Japanese companies to invest in Senegal.

Some of the comments from the participants were as follows:

  • Government agencies, the private sectors, and ex-participants who have returned to Senegal would like to see more involvement in the development and sustainability of internship programs.
  • Other attendees than the panelists commented that the quality of the training provided by the internship program in Japan is high and that the opportunities provided by the internship are large which includes opportunities to acquire practical Japanese business know-how, opportunities for Senegalese companies to connect with the Japanese private sector, opportunities to promote private investment, and so on.


Discussion and Q&A session between ex-participants and Japanese companies

Sharing business outlines from Japanese companies led to deep discussions about collaboration with JICA ex-participants

Next, two Japanese companies shared their business outlines with the JICA ex-participants. Since the presentations were made by ex-participants of both companies, they also shared information about how they joined the companies and what their job assignments were after joining the companies. The Japanese companies that participated in this event are already developing business in Senegal, and these are places where ex-participants of JICA training can play active roles in. Therefore, the event provides excellent opportunities for Japanese companies to not only introduce businesses but also introduce examples of collaboration with ex- participants. The presentations here then led to further discussions at the networking luncheon and other opportunities at the venue.


Scene where ex-participants explained business overviews of each of the Japanese companies

Deepening possibilities for future collaboration at the networking luncheon between Japanese companies and JICA training ex-participants

In the closing remarks, Mr. Papa Biram Thiam from the Department of Technical Cooperation (DCT), Ministry of Internal Affairs, emphasized the need to continue to strengthen cooperative relationships not only with Japanese companies but also with Senegalese companies. Words of gratitude were expressed to the Japanese government, JICA, who runs the training program, the Japanese companies that participated in the event, JICA training ex-participants, government officials, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Senegal, and others.

After this session, a networking luncheon was held where participants were able to deepen their relationships and actively exchanged opinions on the development of Senegal's industry, as well as the further revitalization of Japanese companies' business activities in Senegal.
Through this event, we could see the ex- participants having serious discussions with Japanese companies while thinking about how they can become a bridge between Japanese companies and Africa.

During the luncheon, ex-participants touched on the difficulty of making use of their experiences in Japan in their current workplaces and were seen emphasizing the importance of having colleagues with the same aspirations. We also saw people from Japanese companies stopping their lunch to ask ex- participants on how their experiences in Japan were useful for their current jobs.


Networking lunch scene

JICA will continue to support current participants and ex- participants of the ABE Initiative and the JICA Long-term Training Program for strengthening networking and promoting collaboration with Japanese companies, as well as striving to develop more human resources who will serve as a bridge between Africa and Japan.

Program overview

  • Conference Name: ABE Initiative Reporting Session /Networking Fair 2023 (Senegal)
  • Date: December 20, 2023
  • Sponsored by: JICA Senegal Office
  • Location: King Fahd Plaza Hotel, Dakar, Republic of Senegal


4 ABE Initiative ex-participants
- Mr. Joseph Sega Ndione (ABE 2 batch)
- Mr. Mouhamadou Moustapha Sarr (ABE 3 batch)
- Mr. Mamadou Ciss (ABE 4 batches)
- Ms. Marieme Sarr (ABE 7 batch)

2 ex-participants of X-Tech Program
- Mr. Ameth Fadel Bayo (Graduation year: in 2023)
- Mr. Ousmane Baldé (Graduation year: in 2022)

1 participant in the 2023 Thematic Training (Healthcare, African French-speaking Regions, Women's and Children's Health Improvement)
- Mr. Serigne Modou Faye (Training period: November 5th to 22nd, 2023)

Japanese company: name, affiliation
- Mr. Guy Martial Ngor Diagne, Mitsubishi Corporation (ABE 3 batch)
- Mr. Shusuke Sato, CFAO Infrastructure/Toyota Tsusho Corporation
- Mr. Hiroyuki Hosoya, Komatsu representative
- Mr. Elimane Ndiaye, Komatsu (ABE 4 batch)
- Ms. Mayu Suzuki, Tumiqui, Sucre Cube

Local company and industry organization position
- Secretary General of the Senegalese Entrepreneurial Movement (MDES)
- CFPT/Senegal Japan Director

Senegalese government official position
- Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
- Ministry of Health and Social Activities (MSAS) Training Officer
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment (MAERSA) Partnership Officer
- Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation (MEPC) Training Officer
- Ministry of Finance (MFB) Manager
- Department of Technical Cooperation (DCT), Ministry of Internal Affairs, Training Officer
- Cheikh Anta DIOP University of Dakar (commonly known as Dakar University) Faculty member
- Secretary General, National Employers Council (CNP)
- Director, Senegal National Employers Confederation (CNES)
- Dakar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIAD) Section Manager
- Development and Support Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises(ADEPME) Program Manager,

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Senegal Mr. Osamu Izawa

Chairman of the Association of Ex- Trainees and International Students of Japan (ASEJ)

Kakehashi Africa Country Manager

Program overview

  • Welcome greetings and guest introductions
    JICA Senegal Office Senior Representative Mr. Yoshimizu
  • Opening remarks by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Senegal
  • ASEJ President's lecture (explanation of the alumni organization including Kakehashi)
  • Presentations by JICA training ex-participants
  • Presentations by ABE ex-participants
    Theme: "How to improve the ABE Initiative's internship program so that the Japanese private sector can expand into Senegal"
  • Discussion on the above theme
  • Japanese company presentations (Mitsubishi Corporation, Komatsu)
  • Closing remarks
    Mr. Papa Biram Thiam, Technical Cooperation Department
  • Networking luncheon

Background and purpose

JICA is implementing long-term training projects that aims at developing industrial human resources, administrative officials, young researchers, etc. in Africa. The reporting session of this time was held to gather ex-participants of the following two programs and to promote collaboration with Japanese companies.

Target programs

African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative):
This is a program that provides young Africans with opportunities to obtain master's degrees at Japanese universities and be engaged with internship programs at Japanese companies or other institutes, with the aim of developing African industrial human resources as "navigator" who will support Japanese companies' businesses in Africa.

X-Tech Program:
This program is aimed at executive candidates at organizations responsible for promoting the digital economy. It has them learn the approach to promote Japan's digital transformation (DX) and develop human resources who will be able to consider DX methodologies suitable for their own countries. It is expected that the trainees will promote X-TECH (creating new value and systems by providing solutions using ICT) from a bird's-eye view in organizations that drive DX, and will form open innovation between public and private sectors.

*Year 2023 is the 10th anniversary of the ABE Initiative.