A reporting and networking fair was held in Kenya for ABE Initiative & SDGs Global Leaders participants from Kenya, Somalia, Seychelles and Eritrea

A reporting and networking fair was held in Kenya for ABE Initiative & SDGs Global Leader participant from Kenya, Somalia、Seychelles and Eritrea.

On May 14, 2024, a reporting and networking fair was held in Kenya for ex-participants of the ABE Initiative and SDGs Global Leader Program who come from Kenya, Somalia, Seychelles and Eritrea. Approximately 80 people, including representatives from 17 Japanese companies operating in Africa and within Japan, ex-participants and current participants of ABE Initiative and SDG Global Leader programs, Kenya government officials, and members of the Japanese Embassy in Kenya, attended the event.
The event took place in a hybrid style, connecting an onsite venue in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, with online participants from Japan and from Somalia、Seychelles and Eritrea.

During the event, ABE Initiative ex-participants who have lately returned to their home countries shared their experiences, alongside success stories from senior ABE Initiative ex-participants who has been hired by a Japanese company after completing the program. Additionally, two Japanese companies active in Kenya provided business presentations, and KAKEHASHI Africa (referred to as KA), an organization led by JICA African scholarship alumni, introduced their activities.

The event commenced with a welcoming address by Mr. HAYASHI Kenji, Senior Representative of JICA Kenya. Mr. Hayashi expressed his delight at the opportunity for JICA ex-participants to share their experiences with Japanese companies and government officials through the event. He also emphasized the importance of further contributions to business networks between Japan, Kenya, and the neighboring three countries and his words heightened the awareness of the attendees.


Photo1: Group photo taken at the onsite venue


Photo2: Group photo taken at the online site

The presentation by ex-participants shared case studies of strengthening connections with Japanese companies.

Next, among ex-participants of the JICA program, five individuals who had recently graduated from Japanese graduate schools introduced their majors and internship experiences in Japan.
One of the presenters returned to the government office after graduation, where he used to work before studying in Japan. He is now collaborating with a Japanese company which is involved in importing second-hand agricultural machinery to Africa. He is introducing such Japanese-made equipment to Kenyan farmers through partnerships with the Japanese company.
Additionally, other ex-participant secured a position in one of the major Japanese construction companies and is contributing to improving the living standards of Kenyan people through local infrastructure development projects. These case studies highlight how they serve as a “bridge” between Japan and Africa.

The event provided an opportunity for Kenyan government officials, private sector representatives, and Japanese companies residing in Africa and in Japan to recognize the importance of JICA programs. Strengthening networks among ex-participants was also emphasized, and current participants gained a deeper understanding of the significance of studying in Japan and building relationships with Japanese companies and organizations for their future careers.


Photo3:Scene from a Q&A session at the venue


Photo4:Online presentation by JICA ex-participant

Sharing business overviews by Japanese companies led to in-depth discussions about collaboration with JICA ex-participants

Two Japanese companies presented and shared their business profiles with JICA ex-participants. ABE Initiative ex-participants who joined a subsidiary in Kenya of the Japanese company, which is engaged in automobile manufacturing and sales, discussed aspects such as parts sourcing, vehicle assembly, sales value chains, and contributions to the local community through CSR activities. The ex-participant presenters also shared insights into their career paths and job responsibilities after joining the company, providing valuable information for current participants aspiring to work for Japanese firms.

Many of the participating Japanese companies are already operating businesses in Africa, making this event not only an opportunity for business introductions but also a chance to showcase successful collaborations with JICA program ex-participants.


Photo5:Scene of ABE Initiative ex-participants presenting a business profile of their Japanese company (left to right: Mr. Patrick Githongo, Mr. Victor Maina from  Isuzu East Africa Ltd, and Mr. Hayashi from JICA Kenya Office)

Through sharing a success story from a senior ABE Initiative ex-participant and introducing KA’s activities, the event served as an opportunity for enhancing horizontal and vertical cooperation among JICA ex-participants

A senior ABE Initiative ex-participant highlighted a case study where a Japanese company installed organic fertilizer manufacturing equipment in various African countries, significantly improving agricultural productivity for small-scale farmers. Her presentation sparked numerous interesting questions from attending participants.

Subsequently, a KA (KAKEHASHI AFRICA) country manager in Kenya presented its activity. KA leverages the extensive network of JICA  ex-participants across Africa to create a business platform for Japanese companies. The attendees gained a deeper understanding of the importance and benefits of collaborative efforts among JICA ex-participants.

African youths with master’s degrees awarded under ABE Initiative contribute to Japanese companies as business professionals or strengthen ties with Japan while serving as government officials in their home countries. This event once again shows and shares among the event attendees that JICA ex-participants continue to make significant outcomes in political and economic areas in their home countries, while transcending borders, to be a bridge between Japan and Africa.


Photo 6:Scene of a senior ABE Initiative ex-participant sharing her successful story at a Japanese company


Photo 7:KA Kenya Country Manager introducing KA’s activities

Following the primary session, a networking lunch was held for onsite venue attendees, fostering connections and lively discussions on Kenya’s industrial development and further business activities by Japanese companies in Kenya.

Through this event, ex-participants were seen earnestly exchanging their opinions with Japanese companies, contemplating how to serve as a bridge between Japan and Africa.

JICA remains committed to supporting ABE Initiative and other JICA long-term  program participants, promoting network strengthening, and facilitating collaboration among the ex-participants and Japanese companies. Our efforts contribute to nurturing more talents as bridges between Africa and Japan.

Event Overview

Event Name: ABE Initiative Reporting Session / Networking Fair 2024 in Kenya, Somalia, Seychelles and Eritrea
Date: May 14, 2024
Hosted by: JICA Kenya Office
Location: Mercure & Pullman Hotel Nairobi Upper Hill in Nairobi, Kenya, and online participation


Online presenters denoted by “*”

  • ABE Initiative & SDGs Global Leader Program Ex-Participants:
    Mr. IRERI Sabastian Macharia* (ABE 7th Batch, Kenya)
    Ms. WANGARI Catherine* (ABE 7th Batch, Kenya)
    Mr. GIBSON Omwansa Javes* (ABE 7th Batch, Kenya)
    Mr. MACHARIA Peter Kuira (ABE 7th Batch, Kenya)
    Ms. SUMMAYA Nor Abdi* (SDGs 2021, Somalia)
    Ms. LE BORGNE Enora Elisabeth Marie-Therese* (ABE 5th Batch, Seychelles)
  • Japanese Companies in Kenya (Names and Positions):
    Isuzu East Africa Ltd:
     Mr. Githongo Patrick Njiraini (Senior Finance Business Partner)
     Mr. Maina Victor Wambugu (Quality Engineer, Vehicle Systems)
    Koei Africa Co., Ltd:
     Mr. WATANABE Akifumi (Technical Director)
  • Kakehashi Africa Country Manager:
     Mr. KIBE Kaige (ABE 3rd Batch, Kenya)

Program Highlights

May 14, Thursday

  • Opening Remarks by Mr. HAYASHI KENJI Senior Representative of JICA Kenya Office
  • Presentations by JICA Program ex-participants
  • Japanese Company Presentations (Isuzu East Africa, Koei Africa)
  • Senior ABE Initiative ex-participant’s Presentations
  • KA (Kakehashi Africa) Presentation
  • Closing Remarks by JICA Kenya Office
  • Networking Lunch

Background and Objectives

JICA carries out long-term programs, aiming at developing industrial talents, government officials, and young researchers in Africa. The Report and Networking Fair was held this time to bring together ex-participants from the two programs below to enhance and promote collaborations among ex-participants and Japanese companies.

The JICA long-term programs targeted for the event this time

African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative):
This program targets African youth, providing opportunities for them to obtain master’s degrees from Japanese universities and to participate in internships with Japanese companies. Its goal is to support African industry talents and to make those talents serve as “bridges” guiding Japanese businesses in Africa.

SDGs Global Leader:
This program aims to address SDGs-related policy challenges in each country. It focuses on developing top leaders deeply involved in policy decisions and building networks across various sectors (including government agencies, private companies, universities, NGOs, and JICA). Ultimately, it strengthens ties between Japan and Africa by nurturing talents familiar with Japan.