Report: The 1st Committee for Japanese Universities’ International Exchange Program with Africa


Kyoto University and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies have been selected to participate in the “Inter-University Exchange Project” under the Ministry of Education, As a start of the project, “The 1st Committee for Japanese Universities’ International Exchange Program with Africa” was opened in online on March 16, 2021.

We have been selected for the “Program of promoting inter-university exchange and establishing an information platform”. This program aims to build a platform for promotion and exchange of human resource development with Africa between selected universities in Japan and institutions related to Africa. At the first meeting, 10 universities selected for the program reported on their contents of international cooperative education programs. And we invited representatives from major institutions to exchange opinions on the human resources development through the program.

In the opening address, Prof. Takao Hirajima, Executive Vice President of Kyoto University, expressed his hope that this project will foster global leaders who can collaborate across disciplines and countries, with a good understanding of the challenges in Africa and old and new wisdom that Africa has developed. Prof. Jun Matsukuma, Vice President (International Affairs, Personnel) of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, also gave a speech based on his experience in this project for the past five times as a joint selected university. Mr. Kuniaki Sato (from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Chief of Higher Education Policy Planning Division, Higher Education Bureau, and Director of Office for International Planning), Mr. Ryuichi Kato (from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Vice President) gave their greetings as guests of honor.

Prof. Motoki Takahashi, Director of the Center for African Area Studies, introduced the program. He explained that this program aims to establish three cooperative frameworks that connect universities in Japan, universities in Africa and Japan, and institutions and universities involved in Africa while dispatching. And he presented that we receive students from African universities, provide study abroad programs, and disseminate information on safety and crisis management.

After that, representatives from each university introduced their programs. The program is divided into two types: a start-up type (two universities) to start new educational exchanges with African universities, and an acceleration promotion type (eight universities) to further promote existing educational exchanges. They explained about the educational programs that take advantage of the unique characteristics of each university, such as medicine and agriculture.

In the closing address, Prof. Masayoshi Shigeta, Dean of the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, expressed his hope that each university would learn from each other’s strengths and work together to implement the program to strengthen their global development capabilities. In addition to 15 other universities from Japan participated in the conference, indicating that there are widespread interests among Japanese universities in educational exchange with Africa.