August 18, 2015
August 18th 2015, was indeed a joyful day for the successful candidates who benefitted from the African Business Education Initiative (ABE-I) Master's Degree and internship scholarship programme at various universities in Japan as JICA Nigeria Office hosted them to a send forth gathering at Rock View Hotel in Abuja. The event was attended by the Assistant Director, International Cooperation of the National Planning Commission representing the Secretary to Commission, the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, H.E Sadanobu Kusaoke, a representative from Japanese companies and the Chief Representative of JICA Nigeria Office.
For some trainees it was a mix feeling –the excitement of going to Japan to further their studies on one hand and the apprehension of leaving loved ones in Nigeria behind. However, going to Japan was of utmost importance to them as they will have the opportunity of acquiring knowledge, skills and also have a good understanding of the Japanese society and business culture and thereby be the bridge between both countries.
The ABE-Initiative programme is in fulfillment of the promise made by Japanese Prime Minister Abe during the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in Japan in 2013 where he reiterated Japanese Government policy of strengthening support for the ongoing dynamic growth of Africa with strong business partnership. It is a strategic five year plan providing 1, 000 youths in Africa with potential to contribute to industrial development of the respective countries. In Nigeria, Fifty (50) Nigerians are to benefit from this initiative spread over a three years period.
For admission year 2015, JICA Nigeria Office received one hundred and eighty-nine (189) applications that went through the four-tier rigorous screening exercises, out of which twenty-five (25) applicants were successful and those successful were from the various ministries, department, parastatal as well as universities and private Japanese enterprise.
Furthermore, for this Japanese Fiscal Year 2015 admission, JICA received one thousand four hundred and twenty-two (1,422) applications from thirty-seven (37) countries.
Mr Ileuma Simon, the representative of the Secretary to the National Planning Commission encouraged the participants to use the opportunity provided by the Japanese Government to enhance their capacity and skills in their specialized fields.
The Chief Representative of JICA Nigeria Office, Mr Nakamura Hirotaka presented the certificate of acceptance to the participants in the course of the event.
A representative of the trainees thanked the Government of Japan for providing the platform through which youths from the African continent would opportunities for a master's degree programme in Japan and promised that they would indeed work very hard to actualize the objective of the programme as well be the bridge between both countries on their return.
H.E. Mr Sadanobu KUSAOKE Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria while admonishing them during his closing remarks said "In the face of current economic challenges in Nigeria, further diversification of the economy into various areas such as manufacturing, ICT, Agriculture is needed. I believe the value of the ABE-Initiatives lies here."
The trainees will depart for Japan in batches by the beginning of September to start their study.
Participants with H.E. Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Representative of NPC and JICA Nigeria's Chief Representative