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August 27, 2014

Kyrgyz Republic-Japan Center for Human Development Implements a Joint Business Course in Neighboring Tajikistan

photoThe graduation ceremony was attended by people involved with the Kyrgyz Republic-Japan Center for Human Development and University of Central Asia, as well as representatives from the Tajik and Japanese governments.

A joint business course, a “digest version” of a mini MBA course by the Kyrgyz Republic-Japan Center and the University of Central Asia, saw great success with Tajik participants.

On June 28, a graduation ceremony was held for people who completed a course of the School of Professional and Continuing Education, a part of the University of Central Asia (UCA, 1), in the capital city of Tajikistan, Dushanbe.

In the ceremony, graduates of a joint business course by Kyrgyz Republic-Japan Center for Human Development (KRJC) and UCA also attended.

“The business course I participated in this time was my first investment for the future. I would like to apply the knowledge I gained here in actual business,” said Anzhela Narzulloeva, who represented the graduates and gave a speech, expressing her appreciation to those concerned and lecturers.

Sharing the same challenge of stagnated economic development

photoAnzhela Narzulloeva gives a speech at the graduation ceremony, representing graduates of the business course.

KRJC is a hub of capacity development for business people Japan develops in nine countries in transition into a market economy such as Kyrgyzstan, Viet Nam and Cambodia (2). Both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, and share the same challenge of being left behind the most in the former Soviet Union bloc in economic development.

JICA, since 2003, has provided KRJC-based assistance for economic and social development in Kyrgyzstan through such efforts as capacity development required for transitioning to a market economy, promotion of the market economy and mutual understanding between Kyrgyzstan and Japan.

Since 2013, it has aimed to establish the self-motivating structure and capability of KRJC as an institution of capacity development for business people, through developing and utilizing local lecturers and enhancing alliances with other institutions.

Tajikistan, on the other hand, has suffered confusion over changes in economic structure after independence from the former Soviet Union. In addition, its domestic economy was impoverished owing to a conflict that lasted from 1992 to 1997. Though the economy today is at last stabilized, many of the citizens work away from home in Russia and other countries, and domestic industrial development and economic growth are the country’s major issues.

45 people participated in 'digest version' of a mini MBA course

photoGraduates of a joint business course attend a graduation ceremony. Expert Muneo Takasaka, co-director of Kyrgyz Republic-Japan Center for Human Development, is at the center of the front row.

The joint business course was planned and implemented by KRJC and UCA to aim for capacity building of business people in Tajikistan. KRJC, accumulating experience in capacity development of business people in Kyrgyzstan since its establishment in 2004, and UCA, expanding its campuses in Central Asia as a related organization of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN, 3), worked together to take advantage of the strength of each institution. For KRJC, it is the first full-scale foreign business.

Its curriculum is almost the “digest version” of a three-month mini-MBA course KRJC conducts in Kyrgyzstan, containing six modules on business planning, marketing, financial management, human resource management, IT and accounting. The course ran from May 13 for about a month and half, and Kyrgyz lecturers from KRJC and Tajik lecturers from UCA shared the work, with a total of 45 participants (26 in daytime course and 19 in night course).

“Tajik students were highly motivated and it was a rewarding work for me,” said Almaz Nasyrov, who had originally involved in the mini-MBA course of KRJC, and taught business planning and consultation lectures for this joint business course.

In his lecture of consultation, 31 students created such business plans as business expansion and starting a business, and presented each plan at the end of the course. The contents covered various industries including café, guest house, building material distribution, beverage production, medical center and hydropower generation.

Japanese cooperation as a bridge of human exchanges

photoA Tajik student presents on his business plan.

When KRJC reviewed its new business development in 2013, it proposed the joint business course with UCA in Tajikistan, with a view to contributing to the utilization of local lecturers trained in Kyrgyzstan, and enhanced collaboration with other institutions. There is a great chance of applying experiences and know-how on the capacity building for business people KRJC implemented to that of Tajikistan as the two countries share the same challenge of stagnated economic growth. Since it also contributes to industrial development in Tajikistan that JICA has been providing assistance to, the plan was translated into reality.

Building upon the outcome of the joint business course, KRJC plans to review possibilities of further business development in Tajikistan such as supporting women entrepreneurs and agricultural business. In addition, this type of cooperation matches “intra-regional cooperation” aimed as a goal of the Central Asia plus Japan Dialogue (4), a framework for dialogue and cooperation between Japan and Central Asian countries, expected to become a bridge of human exchanges between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.


Notes
1: An educational institution established by the Aga Khan Development Network with the goal of social and economic development in the Central Asia. Its campuses are planned to be built in the mountain area of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. (Work on the Kyrgyz campus has already commenced.)

2: Under the concept of building capacity of business people in countries in transition into a market economy, as well as building a human network with Japan, the Japan Center for Human Development is established in nine countries and 10 locations (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, two locations in Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar). The Kyrgyz Republic-Japan Center develops its operation centered in three activities; that are business course, Japanese language course and promotion of mutual understanding between Kyrgyzstan and Japan.

3: A group of private development organization, holding 10 agencies that expand development business for Central and South Asia, Middle East, Africa and other areas under its umbrella. Its work covers a wide variety of fields including health, education, agricultural development and private sector development. JICA works with Aga Khan Foundation under AKDN on the Rural Development Project in Tajik-Afghan Border Area of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast.

4: A framework the Japanese government launched in 2004 with the five pillars of political dialogue, intra-regional cooperation, business promotion, intellectual dialogue and human exchange.

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