May 23, 2018
JICA held the "ABE Initiative East Africa Business Networking Fair 2018" on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (themed "NETWORK is POWER!" This fair was the first ever to cover six countries in one sitting. It was graced by approximately 70 ABErians (ABE Graduates) who have already completed their master's program, company internships in Japan and returned back to their home countries. The countries represented at the Networking Fair were Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Seychelles.
Such an important fair calls for a special guest. It was therefore an honor to have Professor Seiichiro YONEKURA, who is very prominent in Japan, specializing in Management Strategy with Innovation. He is a professor of the Graduate School of Innovation Management at Hosei University and also a former Academic Director, Centre for Japanese Studies at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria. He was the moderator for the day's panel discussion, comprising of representatives from both the ABE Initiative graduates and Japanese Companies with experience in offering of local internships to the ABE Graduates.
The panel discussion, themed as "Finding Future Collaboration between ABE Returnees and Japanese Companies", moderated by Prof. Yonekura, provided an interactive session between the invited guests from the Japanese Business Society, ABE Returnees and so on. The "Network is Power" subject was well achieved. With an attendance of about 80 invited guests drawn from the Government of Kenya, the Japanese Business Society and Local Entrepreneurs, much was accomplished. This was evidenced by the activities of the day whereas there were a lot of opportunities for unlimited mingling, exchange of ideas, contacts as well as prospects of future associations being discussed. Interestingly, even with the attention to time experienced by the ABE Returnees while in Japan, it was still hard to control the timing in the networking /cocktail session which was scheduled to take place after the panel discussions. Considering most ABE returnees had not physically seen each other since they returned back home from Japan as early as the year 2016, the session went on and on even after the allocated time. A success that was unmistakably observed.
This forum also provided a great opportunity for Mr. Arthur Sati to introduce Kakehashi Africa (http://kakehashiafrica.com/). Mr. Sati (email@example.com) is the Kakehashi Africa's East African Region/chapter Representative. He is a Master's graduate of Osaka University in Information Science. Kakehashi Africa's aim is to connect and be the bridge between Japan Business and Africa, serving as a link promoting Africa development through partnerships and collaborations with Japanese Enterprises and Organizations. The other represented countries also gave short speeches on their Kakehashi Africa's activities back home.
* 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 the private sector, government officials and educators.
Ms. Sano, the Chief Representative of JICA Kenya office giving the opening remarks.
Mr. Katayama, the Minister Counsellor, Japanese Embassy in Kenya giving a speech.
Amb. Christopher Chika, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade congratulating the ABE Returnees for completion of their Master's program.
Group photo for the attendees.
The panelists- From left, EXCIA Mr. Matsumoto, Kenya ABE Cristopher Maitai, Professor Yonekura, Rwanda ABE Mugarura Amiri, LIXIL Ms. Yamakami.
Mr. Yoshiyuki Sato, founder of Kenya Nuts Company, one of the biggest nuts companies in the world participating at the Networking Forum.
Mr. Arthur Sati, Kakehashi Africa
NETWORK is POWER!
Happy faces, serious networking
I will keep connecting Japan and Africa in the future!
(Photos: Takeshi Kuno)