As part of its assistance to develop regional resources of East Africa, JICA is supporting the Project for Capacity Building for the Customs Administrations of the Eastern African Region. It aims to develop the capacity of customs administrations in the East African Community through training experts in the three requisite fields (valuation, Harmonized System Codes Commodity Classification and intelligence analysis). This project is linked to one-stop border post (OSBP) at Namanga, between Kenya and Tanzania to facilitate smooth and efficient customs procedures at the border.
With JICA's technical cooperation, the villagers of 24 villages in Nyando and Kisumu districts are establishing a flood management system through such activities as the infusion of disaster prevention in school education and the construction of an evacuation center.
In Kenya, the One-Village-One-Product (OVOP) programme originated from Oita Prefecture in Japan in 1979 has been promoted by JICA and the Ministry of Industrialization. Young villagers have set up a self-help group for trout farming and started breeding fingerlings for sale. They hope to expand their business and create employment opportunities.
JICA and the International Water Programme (IWP) support the transfer of the Kazusabori technology to the villagers in Njukini. With this unique Japanese technology, they can drill wells without heavy machinery and access safe water in a sustainable manner.
Tall, slim and balding slightly under his baseball cap, Hidehiro Shinkoui has a strange vision of what aid should look like. Standing under a tree in the yard of the Wamumu Rehabilitation Centre in central Kenya, he explains sheepishly, "my desire is spreading baseball all over the world." A native of Tokyo and former scorer in Japan's Central Baseball League, 31 year-old Mr Shinkoui could hardly have strayed further from his roots, but his pupils, all minor offenders below the age of 18, are willing pupils.
AGRA and JICA are entering into a long-term pact that builds on the strengths of each organization to reach their ambitious goal. "Deepening cooperation between AGRA and JICA is an important step toward significantly boosting rice production by Africa's smallholder farmers, which will reduce costly food imports and move the continent further toward food security," says Dr. Namanga Ngongi, Agra's President.