August 17, 2017
On August 17, 2017, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) celebrated the fourth batch of students selected for the Master's Degree and Internship Program of African Business Education Initiative for Youth: the ABE Initiative. Eleven students from various fields have been selected to study at nine different universities throughout Japan; the ABE scholars attended their final debriefing session and farewell party at Desalegn Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
During his opening remarks, Mr. Hiroyuki Tanaka, Senior Representative, JICA Ethiopia Office, stated how encouraged he was by the level of participation in the ABE Initiative program and that graduates of the program are expected to act as bridges between the people and industries of Ethiopia and Japan.
There are currently only four Japanese companies working in Ethiopia, according to Mr. Tanaka, the goal of the Government of Japan is to see that number significantly increasing in the next few years as Ethiopia continues to grow in the industrial sector. Japanese companies have the technology and know-how to support Ethiopia reach its Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP II) goal of becoming a lower middle-income country by 2025.
Mr. Tanaka's sentiment was echoed by Mr. Habtom Welday Kahhsay, Ministry of Finance and Economic Commission (MoFEC), who will be heading to Japan in two weeks to study International Relations at the International University of Japan. "Ethiopia has a high level of unemployment and poverty; in order to reach our GTP II goals we will need to learn from advanced countries, such as Japan. I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn from the Japanese and to return to Ethiopia to help us achieve our goals", said Mr. Habtom.
The ABE Initiative was launched during the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), held in Yokohama 2013. During this conference, Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe announced the "African Business Education Initiative for Youth (the "ABE Initiative"), as a five-year plan to provide 1,000 youth in Africa with the opportunity to earn their Master's degrees at Japanese Universities, as well as to intern at Japanese companies."
Thus far, 53 Ethiopians have taken part in the ABE Initiative in the three groups since the launch. Of the 53 students, the first batch of 21 students have completed both their Master's Degree and Internship programs and have returned to Ethiopia to work in various private and government institutions.
Fourth batch of the ABE Initiative scholars from Ethiopia, at their send-off party at Desalegn Hotel in Addis Ababa.
Front row (left to right): Mr.Genene Getahun, ABE scholar; Mr. Zewdu Tamrat, MoFEC; Mr.Satoshi Tsuneoka, Embassy of Japan; Mr. Hiroyuki Tanaka, JICA; Mr. Agmasie Tarekegn, MoEx; Ms. Afomia Solomon, ABE scholar and Mr. Mulugeta Debebe, ABE scholar.
Middle row (left to right): Ms. Mai Suzuki, FASID; Ms. Naomi Okada, FASID; Mr. Getahun Belay, ABE scholar; Ms. Hagere Alemayehu, ABE scholar; Mr. Habtom Welday, ABE scholar; Mr. Fesseha Zena, ABE scholar; Mr. Tadesse Mossu, ABE scholar; Ms Martha Alemayehu, JICA and Ms. Yuka Kawasaki, JICE.
Back row (left to right): Mr. Derbew Yenet; Mr. Afework Gidey, ABE scholar; Mr.Yohei Otomo Embassy of Japan; Ms. Mekedes Tekalign, JICE; Mr. Yasuto Kikuma, JICA and Mr. Gebeyehu Benti, JICA.