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Japan: African Development Bank promotes human capital and industrial development in Africa


Researchers and representatives of international agencies and embassies convened for a knowledge sharing event focusing on promoting industrialization and developing human capital in Africa. The African Development Bank organized the event on 26 September 2018 at the United Nations University in Tokyo.

In Asia, which has pursued a robust industrialization path, many countries have experiences to share with African countries, particularly regarding the quality of labor, Keijiro Otsuka, Professor at Kobe University, said during his keynote speech.

Otsuka recommended “Kaizen” - a collection of ideas and insights that many managers and workers have created and refined through observations and experiments carried out over several decades in Japan and other parts of the world.

“Learning from abroad is the essence of East Asian model of development,” the professor added.

About 60 participants attended the event, which was marked by lively participation in the panel discussion moderated by Tetsushi Sonobe, Professor and Vice President of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.  Also speaking at the event, Ndiyoi Muliwana Mutiti, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Zambia to Japan, encouraged Japanese Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to do more business in Africa.

Yuko Yasunaga, the head of United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Tokyo, gave details of UNIDO’s activities to promote quality training for the business sector. Toru Homma, Senior Adviser of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), explained positive results and impact of JICA’s Kaizen projects to support over 1,000 SMEs in 8 countries.

 “Coherent industrial policy is necessary for industrialization,” Tadashi Yokoyama, Head, Asia External Representation, said.

Masahiko Kiya, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, commended the holding of the event in his opening remarks.

The Bank’s Asia External Representation, established in 2012 in Tokyo, actively promotes Asia-Africa dialogues. The event was to promote knowledge sharing on Africa’s human capital and industrial development, Yokoyama said.

Africa has witnessed a recovery in commodity prices as well as economic and political transformation of several states. The average growth rates of African countries are projected to exceed that of the world average in the mid to long term, according to the Bank’s African Economic Outlook.

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