On 4 December, KyotoU's Center for African Area Studies (CAAS) and Interdisciplinary Unit for African Studies (Africa Unit), together with Canon Foundation in Europe (CFE), co-hosted CFE's Regional Fellow Meeting at the University's Inamori Center. KyotoU and CFE launched the Canon Foundation-Kyoto University Japan-Africa Exchange Program in 2017 to support research exchange between KyotoU and its Africa-based partner institutions. The Regional Fellow Meeting is part of this program and organized biennially by CFE.
The 2019 meeting, held in the program's third year, drew 70 attendees, including former fellows of CFE's Japan-Europe exchange program. The gathering opened with welcome remarks from a KyotoU representative and assistant to the executive vice-president for international affairs, Professor Masayoshi Shigeta. This was followed by a keynote lecture by Professor Takeshi Furuichi of the Primate Research Institute, discussing "what bonobos can teach us about human evolution". Based on half a century of research on wild bonobos, Professor Furuichi described how the animals differ from chimpanzees in their inter-group relationships. Both bonobos and chimpanzees are anthropoid apes, he explained, but the former tend to be affiliative, while the latter are often aggressive, toward out-group individuals. He illustrated this point by citing examples from his own writings, while also showing video footage from his fieldwork research.
Afterwards, Dr José Fernandez , a CFE board member, expressed hope that more and more Japanese early-career researchers with an interest in Africa will apply for the exchange program.