Fourteen young Rwandans are set to pursue further studies at different Japanese institutions under a new scholarship programme dubbed Africa Business Education (ABE) initiative.
The programme, that is implemented under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), will see 10 Rwandans pursue their masters degrees at Japanese universities while four will undergo lengthy internships at different institutions in Japan.
Speaking at the send-off ceremony of the students yesterday, the Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda, Kazuya Ogawa, said the initiative will help beneficiaries acquire knowledge in different sectors of the Rwandan economy.
Eleven students will be enrolled in the ICT sector while three will pursue courses in the energy sector.
Jane Uwera, from Energy Development Co Ltd, said she is looking forward to acquiring expertise in energy production.
“Rwanda depends on foreign experts in the exploration and production of energy, which is costly,” said Uwera, who will be joining Kyushu University in Fukuoka.
Jovani Ntabgoba, from K Lab and ICT Chamber of the Private Sector Federation, said he will pursue a course in internet data and its impact on people’s livelihoods.
“Internet’s Big Data is considered the ‘next oil’ in life, due to its contribution to development,” he said.
The Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, urged the beneficiaries to use the opportunity to significantly contribute to the country’s development.
“This opportunity will help grow Rwanda’s human resource capacity. The two years they will spend pursuing ICT courses and training should help boost the ICT sector,” the minister said.
Those who will pursue disciplines in the energy field, he said, will help in energy generation, which the country needs to fast-track development projects.
The five-year EBE programme will see 1,000 eligible young Africans empowered through offering them opportunities to study Masters courses in Japanese universities and take internships at Japanese enterprises in order to develop effective skills in various fields.
For the first batch, 160 beneficiaries from eight African countries namely Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Côté d’Ivoire and South Africa have been selected.
The ABE initiative was endorses at last year’s Tokyo International Conference of African Development (Ticad).