June 1, 2017
This series introduces scholarship graduates who keep striving towards a better future even after the completion of the program.
* ABE Initiative: Master's Degree and Internship Program of African Business Education Initiative for Youth, launched by Japanese Prime Minister ABE in TICADV in 2013. Participants are from private sector, government officials and educators broadly.
A recent colourful event hosted by JICA brought together ABE Initiative(*) graduates and Japanese private sector working in Kenya. The aim was to explore mutual interests in a bid for the graduates to further serve as a bridge between Kenya and Japan. The ABE Initiative Networking Fair, held in Nairobi, hosted graduates from the first batch of ABE Initiative from various universities in Japan, as well as Japanese companies interested in working with the graduates or investing in their business ventures.
"So far 132, participants have gone to Japan from Kenya under ABE Initiative," observed Ms. Keiko Sano, JICA Kenya's Chief Representative. She noted that this was the highest number out of all participating African countries. She urged the graduates to make use of the knowledge and experience gained in Japan to contribute to Kenya's development.
The bright young graduates gave impressive presentations on their experience in Japan, what they learnt and positive aspects of the Japanese culture that they had already adopted and were sharing. Seeking to engage more with the Japanese private sector in Kenya, they showcased their knowledge and skills, which would stand them in good stead when working for Japanese companies. Other graduates pursuing their entrepreneurial skills sought partnership to boost their businesses in mutually beneficial relationships.
The graduates outlined some of the skills they had learnt in Japan and now practiced, including proper planning, energy efficiency and waste reduction, research skills, time management and continuous improvement (KAIZEN). Some graduates explained about their experience undergoing local internship in Kenya, a unique program introduced by JICA Kenya. For all the graduates, it was clear that they had learned a great deal in Japan and have a lot to offer the Japanese private sector as well as to contribute to other spheres of Kenyan development.
Ms. Keiko Sano, Chief Representative of JICA Kenya opens the event
Mr. Paul Wachira, Chairman, JICA Ex-participants Alumni of Kenya (JEPAK)
(Photos by Takeshi Kuno)