December 20th, 2016
In an effort to give a global perspective to the young leaders of tomorrow, Yokohama City University annually invites ambassadors and individuals active internationally to give a lecture in English and from a broad angle about the trends present in their countries and their involvement with Japan. This year, His Excellency Solomon K. Maina, MBS, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Japan, has kindly accepted the invitation.
In August 2016, the Nairobi Declaration was adopted at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) held in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The Declaration identifies priority areas for the development of Africa. As someone who is committed to forging the friendship between Japan and Kenya, H.E. Solomon Maina talked about the TICAD VI process and the attractiveness of Kenya.
The first half of the lecture was titled “Impact of TICAD Process on Africa”. It explored the history of TICAD, covered the LAPSSET Corridor — the largest transport and infrastructure project in Africa — being implemented by Kenya and its neighboring countries, and acknowledged the Japanese contribution. It also explained how TICAD VI has provided a platform for participants to share the realities, challenges and opportunities in Africa. His Excellency further elaborated in his lecture on how this sixth conference has heightened the momentum for mutual understanding, and was of great significance in inviting the private sector to engage with governments.
The second half of the lecture was titled “Why is Kenya Attractive to Investors?”. With the help of a video, His Excellency illustrated the appeal of the Republic of Kenya by introducing the characteristics of the country and the reasons it is so attractive to investors. The video showed that Kenya is putting in a lot of effort into human resource development and ICT, and showcased M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service that greatly contributes to the self-resiliency of local farmers. His Excellency Solomon Maina also explained how this regionally led innovation in technology is gathering worldwide attention and was featured in TICAD. In the field of resource exploitation, the country is striving to develop reusable resources.
During the Q&A session after the lecture, His Excellency took questions from the participating students. He emphasized that Kenya is putting great effort into education as part of its vision for 2030, including making primary education free from the age of 5. The participants were able to have a glimpse of how Kenya is also devoted to developing human resources. At the end of the lecture, the participating students joined His Excellency for a commemorative photo before seeing him off in a round of applause.