Kyoto University signed a memorandum of understanding for academic exchange with the University of Zambia on June 18th. The agreement was proposed by the Center for African Area Studies, and submitted together with the Graduate School of Agriculture, the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, and the Graduate School of Global Environment Studies.
Zambia University is a national university located in Lusaka, the capital of the Republic of Zambia. It was established in 1966 originally with three faculties of education, humanities and social sciences, and natural sciences, but since then other areas of faculties were added, including law, agriculture, and mining. Commissioned by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Hokkaido University has been carrying out since 2014 the “Study Abroad Coordinator Placement Project (Sub-Saharan Africa)” based on its Lusaka Office. The project aims at encouraging more students in Sub-Saharan Africa to study in Japan by organizing study-abroad fairs in various African countries and expanding and diversifying education and research programs of Japanese universities.
Kyoto University and University of Zambia have active academic exchanges mainly in the fields of agriculture and area studies. Prof. Chieko Umezu, a professor at Graduate School of Agriculture, and Prof Hitoshi Shinjo, an associate professor cross-appointed at Graduate School of Global Environment Studies, organized a series of workshops in Lusaka as part of their joint research with Zambia Research Institute in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016, inviting faculty members, graduate students, and researchers from the University of Zambia. In addition, Prof. Hidenori Harada, an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Global Environment Studies, has conducted a joint research on participatory health planning using health risk data, targeting slums outside Lusaka where sanitation and diarrhea problems are becoming more serious.
At the Center for African Area Studies, the Professor Emeritus Kakeya continuously conducted ecological anthropological research in the northern provinces of Mpika and Sanfia since 1990. Currently, Associate Professor Shuichi Oyama, who specializes in geography, is promoting research and educational activities in Zambia, in collaboration with the Institute of Social Economics, University of Zambia. Under the 21st Century Center of Excellence Program, “Aiming for COE of Integrated Regional Studies” launched in 2002, the Zambia Field Station opened in Lusaka in 2003 as a hub for fieldwork conducted in Southern Africa.
After concluding the MOU, the University of Zambia has become our 12th partner university in Africa. The MOU will be a starting point for Kyoto University to expand its networks in southern part of Africa and promote more exchanges of students and joint research in collaboration with Lusaka Office of Hokkaido University.