The fourth batch of fifteen candidates enrolled for post-graduate studies under Japan’s African Business Education (ABE) Initiative will today depart for Masters’ degree studies in the Asian country.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched the ABE Initiative for youth as one of the core commitments in Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD V) held in Yokohama, Japan in 2013. The first batch recently graduated and returned to Rwanda.
Thirteen Rwandan participants and two Burundians from public and private sectors have been selected, mainly from ICT sector.
Charles Mutabazi, an ABE Initiative alumnus who mastered in Information Systems in Japan, said the programme has a huge impact on the development of the country as he has already started implementing the knowledge acquired from the Asian country known for advancement in technology.
“We are now a bridge between Rwanda and Japan,” Mutabazi said.
He works with WiredIn, a software development company and has clients in Japan.
“Japanese have different projects but since human skills in Japan are very expensive, they turn to us. It’s an offshore business. That way we bring in money for our country to grow,” he added.
Some of the alumni are contributing to the initiation of a project that will help combat lightning, mostly in Rutsiro District in Western Province, skills they acquired from a Japanese company during internship.
Takayuki Miyashita, the Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, said the initiative is in line with his government’s target of introducing more Japanese companies in Africa and then employ Africans.
“If the Japanese companies hear about what is happening in Africa from African students, they understand and maybe gain more interest in coming here,” he said.
Dr Emmanuel Muvunyi, the executive director of Higher Education Council, said the programme supports the country in terms of human resource.
“Japan is one of the major countries in the world from which we have a lot to learn from.
Through the cooperation between the two countries, they help our secondary school science teachers to develop better pedagogy, particularly with our new competency based curriculum introduced in 2016,” Muvunyi said.
The 13 Rwandan participants are in addition to 26 others who were granted the same scholarship under the ABE initiative in the past. JICA last year invested $30 million toward the programme.