On 5 August, the Kyoto University African Alumni Association (KUAAA) held its fourth reunion at the Japanese Embassy in Madagascar.
KUAAA was established in 2016 with the aim of promoting research collaboration and academic exchange between KyotoU and African institutions. It has since held three reunions, the first in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016, the second in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2017, and the third in Accra, Ghana, in 2018.
The fourth gathering brought together 16 graduates, all of them African researchers, who were joined by KyotoU faculty including Professor Gen Yamakoshi and Assistant Professor Hiroki Sato, both from the Center for African Area Studies (CAAS).
The event began with welcome remarks from the KUAAA chairman, Professor Hajanirina Rakotomanana from the University of Antananarivo. Participants then reported on their recent activities and discussed possible collaborations. Researchers explored opportunities for collaboration and professional growth with great enthusiasm, coming up with ways to combine their expertise for projects such as "grasscutter" breeding in Congo and phylogeographic studies.
Afterwards, the newly elected KUAAA chairman Dr Samuel Tefera Alemu, assistant professor at Addis Ababa University's Center for African and Oriental Studies, delivered his inauguration speech. He stated that for the next reunion, he hoped to organize panel sessions covering a broad range of research fields, and a symposium promoting interdisciplinary exchange. He also announced his intention to work on an alumni contact network to facilitate preparations for such projects.
Earlier, from 30 July to 3 August, the alumni attended the 56th annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC 2019), also held in Madagascar. They actively interacted with tropical biology experts from across the world, as they took part in discussions on topics such as the organization of regional associations by Africa-based researchers, and capacity-building for African university students and practitioners.
KyotoU aims to continuously enhance its African network by partnering with institutions such as the University of Antananarivo. The two universities recently concluded an academic cooperation and exchange agreement.
- Kyoto University African Alumni Association (KUAAA) Facebook page