The “Japan-Africa University Exchange Conference 2022” was held online as an official side event of the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), on August 22, 2022, to discuss the possibility of expanding our people-to-people exchanges and university network.
Rectors and other representatives of 9 African universities and 12 Japanese universities participated and held active discussions.
During the event, we explored the brilliant achievements made so far through international exchanges and cooperation between Japan and Africa, and acknowledged the importance of people-to-people exchanges from both scientific and diplomatic points of view.
We also recognized the benefit of steady efforts to promote international exchanges and cooperation, and the effectiveness of various tools to achieve this objective - especially the Sakura Science Exchange Program (SSP).
Through our past experience, our conclusions can be summarized as follows:
- Mutual understanding and trust through face-to-face exchanges are integral to the continued cooperation between Japan and Africa in various fields.
Through such regular exchanges, we can promote creative knowledge sharing, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership development in the next generation. Furthermore, these people-to-people exchanges contribute to our mutual development and the solving of global issues.
- Universities in Japan and Africa should actively encourage regular exchanges among researchers, faculty members and students, and encourage university networking by creating suitable environments and opportunities for exchange and the conclusion of cooperation agreements.
- The Sakura Science Exchange Program run by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) is a valuable tool to support exchanges.
JST has proposed inviting young people - including high school, university and graduate school students - from Africa to Japan each year through SSP from FY2023, aiming to increase this to 500 people per year. This proposal is extremely important, and representative participants of the “Japan-Africa University Exchange Conference 2022” have agreed to it.