University Of Ghana Hosts 2017 Ghana and Japan Student Exchange Fair

Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu with the Japanese Ambassador, H.E. Kaoru Yoshimura and the Vice President of Hokkaido University, Prof Ichiro Uyeda

The University of Ghana played host to the 2017 Ghana and Japan Student Exchange Fair as part of the university’s efforts to strengthen collaboration between the two countries and offer students from Ghana opportunities to further their tertiary education in Japanese universities. Participating universities were Kyoto University, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, International University of Japan, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Hokkaido University, Kanazawa University, and the University of Tsukuba. The Japan Student Services Organisation (JASSO) was also in attendance to provide information on scholarships and student life in Japanese universities.

The two-part event consisted of a morning and afternoon session, the former of which focused on examining ways in which collaboration and academic exchange  take place between universities in Japan and Africa.  This session was facilitated by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Dr Irene Ayi, a Senior Research Fellow at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), explored some of the positive outcomes of past collaborations including the construction of NMIMR by the Japanese government, refresher courses provided to technicians which focused on training to identify parasites, the development of new tools for addressing schistosomiasis, and the discovery of several Ghanaian plants which were found to be effective against some drug resistant parasites, adding that some of the benefits of the exchange to Japanese researchers include the greater access to field samples available in Ghana.

 Dr Ayi was particularly enthusiastic about such collaborations because they centre on capacity development and provide opportunities for networking and expanded collaboration as well as supporting training workshops for young scientists. A beneficiary of such collaboration, Dr Ayi encouraged Ghanaians to strengthen their relationships with Japanese universities and to take advantage of scholarship and research opportunities offered by such institutions.

Pro. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Kwame Offei, Prof. Ama Aikins and Prof. Ichiro Uyeda 

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu attended the afternoon session during which he delivered a welcome address.  The Vice-Chancellor remarked that as one of the over 60 alumni of Japanese universities working at the University of Ghana, he was proud to say the experience had imparted the values of honesty, diligence, and effective time management on all Japanese trained alumni.  According to the Vice Chancellor, these qualities, he believed, set them apart from their peers.  He, therefore, encouraged undergraduate and postgraduate students at the fair to take advantage of Japanese training programmes.

The Vice President of Hokkaido University thanked the organisers and sponsors of the event, re-echoing the VC’s earlier remarks, encouraged all present to participate in the fair’s educational activities.

Representatives from the Japanese Embassy and the participating Japanese universities discussed pertinent issues such as how to apply for Japanese government scholarships, experiences of studying in Japan.  Individual consultations were also held with interested students.

A group picture after the fair