【Event Report】Shizenkan Insights Series #1

On January 25, Shizenkan hosted the online event “The Mindset and Impact of Leveraging Technology towards Solving Social Issues in Japan and Africa,” the first in the Shizenkan Insights Series. Prof. Masafumi Nagao of the University of Pretoria, Research Advisor at the International Development Center of Japan, and Jovi Chen, CEO of Zen Consortium and Advisor to the Africa Chamber of Commerce, joined the event as guest speakers. 

In his speech, Prof. Nagao emphasized the fact that as the global perception of Africa is changing, Asian countries are increasingly interested in developing relations with Africa, and focusing on the younger generation of Africans is essential for establishing sustainable business partnerships. Prof. Nagao also presented some of the educational initiatives to connect Asia and Africa that focus on young African entrepreneurs.

Jovi Chen of Zen Consortium, the platform that supports African social entrepreneurs with consulting, financial support, and technology solutions, shared his experience of creating social impact in rural Africa by introducing technology and seeing opportunities where others see only a lack of infrastructure.

The lively discussion between the two speakers and Q&A with the audience was moderated by Shizenkan’s Vice President, Associate Professor Shun Nagao, and touched on topics such as the language barrier and how to overcome it, the reasons why young Africans should turn their attention to Asia, and the opportunities for African students to study in Asia, particularly in Japan.

The event was organized in partnership with the Study in Japan for Africa Initiative, commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, and we are grateful to Ms. Midori Daimon for her support.


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