Amb. Okaniwa Awards JKUAT at Africa-ai-Japan Project’s 3rd JCC Meeting

Japan Ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Okinawa Ken bestowed Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) with a certificate of appreciation, acknowledging the enduring partnership between Japan and JKUAT through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), November 8, 2023.

The Japanese Ambassador to Kenya expressed his pleasure in presenting the certificate, emphasizing its role in strengthening existing collaborations and fostering partnerships between the two governments, particularly following the 60 Years of Japan-Kenya Partnership.

Right: Ambassador Okinawa awards certificate of appreciation to JKUAT’s VC Prof. Ngumi.

Concurrently, the Third Joint Coordination meeting brought together stakeholders from JICA Headquarter office, Kenya’s Ministry of Education, Kenya JICA office, PAUSTI, JKUAT Management, and the Japanese Embassy in Kenya. The meeting served as a platform to deliberate on and celebrate the achievements of the collaborative project.

Since its inception, the project has been resolute in establishing JKUAT and PAUSTI as a Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) hub through interdisciplinary and collaborative research and linkages with industry and academia in Africa, Japan, and other regions.

Mr. Mochizuki giving his remarks during the meeting

Key activities of the project include capacity building, strengthening research initiatives, enhancing industrial linkages, and extending global partnerships. These efforts have resulted in improved research facilities, an increase in publications, joint webinars spanning multiple industries and research institutions.

JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi, warmly welcomed the delegation and expressed deep appreciation to the Japanese government, specifically through JICA, for its pivotal role in JKUAT’s development and its contribution to advancing collaboration in science, technology, and innovation (STI) to address societal issues and promote a sustainable African economy.

Prof. Ngumi underscored the historical partnership between JICA and JKUAT, highlighting its significant impact on the university’s growth as a leading global institution, particularly in the fields of science, technology, and agriculture.

The subsequent hybrid meeting included progress reports from four sub-taskforces: The Innovation Centre for Bio-Resources (iCB), Innovation Prototyping Integrated Centre (iPIC), Innovation Centre for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (iCMOB), and Innovation Center for Computing and Technological Solutions (iCCATS).

These were presented by Africa-ai-Japan Chief Advisor, Prof. Hiroshi Koaze, Chair, Innovation and Prototyping Integrated Centre, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, Chair, Innovation Centre for Bio resource, Prof. Daniel Sila, Chair, Innovation Centre for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Dr. Caroline Ngugi and Chair, Innovation Centre for Computing and Technological Solutions, Dr. Michael Kimwele.

Prof. Koaze assured continued dedication to strengthen research activities in agriculture, engineering, health sciences, and computing, evaluating achievements for socio-economic impact.

Mr. Mochizuki from JICA Headquarters expressed gratitude to JKUAT for fostering a conducive environment for project activities, pledging continued collaboration for further development.

In attendance was also JICA Headquarter Officials, Mr. M. Hiroshi and Ms. Ikue Eda, Jica Kenya Office Officials, Ms. Nami Sakai, the Director General NACOSTI, Prof. Walter Oyawa, Embassy of Japan Officials, Mr. Nishimura Masaya and Mr. Baraka Nangithia Deputy Vice Chancellors, Prof. Robert Kinyua, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, among others. Africa-ai-Japan Project leaders, Dr.Shohei Aoki, Dr. Rintaro Kinoshita and Ms. Mai Toda among many.

Ambassador Okinawa shares a commemorative photo with JCC Stakeholders.

(Posted by Esther Ndiwa)