As a part of Japan-U.S. development cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) participated in the annual AWEP International Visitor Leadership Program hosted by the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. July 31-August 6 on the margins of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, held from August 4th to 6th.
On August 5th, JICA hosted the “JICA session” to convene a workshop on “5S KAIZEN”, which is a philosophy/method of bottom-up continuous improvement in productivity and quality developed by the Japanese industry, for 29 African women business leaders participating in AWEP. In addition, on the panel disucussion held after the workshop, lively discussion was held under the theme of strengthening the business partnership between Japan and Africa.
Furthermore, Japanese Ambassadar to the United States Kenichiro Sasae made a speech during a networking event for female entrepreneurs hosted by the United States on August 6th. In his speech, he stated, “there is still plenty of room for Japan, the United States, and African countries to cooperate for the purpose of women’s empowerment.”
This collaboration is mentioned in “Fact Sheet: U.S.-Japan Global and Regional Cooperation,” which was issued when U.S. President Barack Obama visited Japan and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan in April this year. It is one of the efforts in which Japan and the United States are cooperating in the area of vocational development and capacity building of African female entrepreneurs. Japan and the United States have been strengthening cooperation to support African women entreprenuers as a key mechanism to foster trade, investment and development in sub-Saharan Africa. This collaboration is one of the concrete achievements of Japan-U.S. development cooperation.
[Reference 1] Participants of Japan for “JICA session”
A workshop on “5S KAIZEN” was convened by Mr. Koichi Ieki, who is a former JICA senior volunteer. Additionally, as panelists, Ms. Rumiko Seya (Director, JCCP M Co.,Ltd. / President, Japan Center for Conflict Prevention) and Ms. Bongiwe Kali (a business woman in South Africa) participated in the panel discussion.
[Reference 2]“Fact Sheet: U.S.-Japan Global and Regional Cooperation”(extract) Advancing Development around the World
The United States also took part in a Japanese-led program for African entrepreneurs and government officials in Yokohama, Japan, in February, and Japan is supporting the U.S. International Visitor Leadership Program for African female entrepreneurs in summer 2014. The United States and Japan are also collaborating to provide professional development and capacity building services to African women entrepreneurs through the U.S. African Womens Entrepreneurship Program and the Japan-Africa Business Women Exchange Program.