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Africa Week held for the first time in Sophia University

Discussion on May 22

Sophia Africa Week was held for the first time from May 22 to 26 to deepen understandings for African regions as well as for the aim to build partnerships together with our students and also “Africa Day” was celebrated on May 25 on the Yotsuya campus. Sophia University offers many opportunities for students to learn about Africa where the significant economic growth is apparent and marking the solid presence in the global market. We believe learnings of Africa will be sufficient for the students as they grow to become leading business people in the near future.

Ambassador of the State of Eritrea, Dean of the ADC, Mr. Afeworki Haile Estifanos

As for opening event on May 22, the symposium “For the Young Generation Building the Global Society together with Africa” was held at International Conference Hall inviting speakers Kenzo Oshima former Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, Managing Director of the Africa Society of Japan, Kenro Oshidari Director, Board of Directors Japan Association for the World Food Programme, Ryuichi Kato, Director General Africa Department Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Sako Lancine, President of Association of Ivorians in Japan, Kenji Suzuki, General Manager Africa Business Development Department, Africa Division and Tsukasa Yoshimura and SONY Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. Senior Manager /Chief Producer. The speakers all had close ties with African nations through their work in the field of international cooperation and their businesses. The active discussion took place regarding the present situation of Africa and building the future together with African people.

Symposium on Africa Day

On May 23, “Literature and African Children” was held introducing children books from mainly Western Africa. Following the lecture by African Literature specialist, Haruse Murata the recitation of Cameroon folklore was performed by students of Faculty of French Literature.

Reception

May 25 the main event of Africa Week took place as it was “Africa Day” to celebrate unity of African nations. Diplomats from 38 countries, Japanese government officials, international cooperation officers and business experts attended the reception with delightful African dishes and Congo traditional music. President Yoshiaki Terumichi and Chancellor Toshiaki Koso gave a welcome speech and a greeting expressing their strong wish to build partner relations with African countries followed by the message from African Union Chairperson and President of the Republic of Guninea, Mr. Alpha Conde delivered by ambassador of Republic of Guniea, Mr. Senkoun Sylla. The toast by Ambassador of the State of Eritrea and Dean of the African Dipolomatic Corps (ADC), Afeworki Haile Estifanos followed.
Prior to the reception the symposium was held at No.6 BLDG Rm.101 moderated by Nami Miyazaki of Graduate School of Global Environmental Science and Kinyua Kinthunji Laban of Graduate School of Global Studies. The keynote lecture and presentation on African Union was given was given by followed by the presentations of Eastern Africa by Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr. Ahmed Araita Ali, Southern Africa by Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia Mr. Joao Miguel Vahekeni and Western Africa by Madam Youngor Telewoda. President Terumichi expressed how fortunate he feels to be able to celebrate such an important event at Sophia University. Closing speech was given by former Benin ambassador Mr. Zomahoun Rufin who is a graduate and a very first African student of Sophia University. The guests enjoyed the display of the crafts and the products of five regions of Africa at the lobby.

Professor Uramoto and students of ABE initiative

At last day May 26, the symposium“Celebrating JICA and Sophia University Partnerships in Africa” was held at the international conference hall. The comprehensive partnership agreement was signed between JICA and Sophia University in 2016. The symposium was moderated by Professor Ann McDonald of Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies and the keynote speech was given by JICA Senior Special Advisor, Masahito Enomoto introducing “Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA)” and its contribution to SDGs. Latter, the panel discussion with seven African students from six countries who learn at Sophia through “Master’s Degree and Internship Program of African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE initiative)” moderated by Yoshiteru Uramoto, Director of Center for Global Discovery took place.

Also during Africa Week the student photo exhibition “Africa I know” was held and at No.2 BLDG student cafeteria Western Africa dishes were served as the special menu. We intend to repeat Africa Week next year onward hoping to develop further understandings and ties with African nations.

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