The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has launched a long-awaited program to support the formation of inter-university exchange with African countries in FY2020. Kyoto University, in collaboration with Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, applied for and was selected for the “Program for Promotion of Exchange and Platform Building (Type B)”.
This project, ” Innovative Africa: Educational Networking Programs for Human Resource Development in Africa’s SDGs (IAfP: Innovative Africa Program),” aims to develop human resources who can serve as bridges between Japan and Africa through interactive student exchanges with 14 major African universities under five different programs. In addition to the universities that have been selected for this year’s program, we will also invite Japanese universities that are aiming for student exchange programs with Africa in the future, and play a role in forming a platform for educational exchange between Japan and Africa.
It goes without saying that the meaning and significance of the involvement of Japanese universities in Africa as institutions of higher education and research is enormous these days. More than half a century ago, when Kyoto University and other Japanese researchers first visited Africa, Africa was seen only as a research target in a specific field. However, the various research exchanges that began at that time gradually grew in depth and expanded to include the field of education. International human resource exchange with Africa in the field of education and research has been steadily increasing.
Through this program, we will strive to improve the level of diversity and quality of educational exchange between Japan and Africa. We would also like to support the students who will lead the next generation in Japan and Africa to not only acquire high level of expertise in their respective fields, but also to become excellent human resources who can work together as partners in global society and excite innovation with a view to sustainable development in Africa. We hope you will join us in this program.
Motoki Takahashi (Program Leader)
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies