Japan – IICBA Signing Ceremony for the project ‘Teacher Training and Development for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa and Surrounding Countries
On the morning of the 27th of February 2017, H.E. Mr. Shinichi Saida, Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia visited theInternational Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) offices for the signing ceremony, on behalf of the government of Japan, providing funding of a sum of 1 million USD to IICBA. The funds will go towards IICBA’s project, ‘Teacher Training and Development for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa and Surrounding Countries’, which will support teachers and teacher educators from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda. The project includes a study trip to Japan – Tokyo and Hiroshima – to be exposed to peace education in Japan. The signing ceremony took place, fittingly, before the colorful stained glass mural narrating a struggle for peace and development in Africa.
Amb. Saida emphasized that Japan has been an active member in peacekeeping and peace-building activities in Africa, and encouraged IICBA’s approach through education. He reiterated that education was a crucial pillar of the Nairobi Document, an outcome from TICAD VI held in August 2016. He highlighted the fact that IICBA’s work through the project will fulfill the goals of “Quality Africa, Resilient Africa and Stable Africa and put a clear emphasis on empowerment of individuals, especially the young generation”
Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of IICBA, was grateful that the Government of Japan and the Embassy of Japan in Ethiopia are active supporters of this educational endeavor. She quoted the preamble of UNESCO’s constitution,“since wars begin in the minds of men/women, it is in the minds of men/women that the defenses of peace must be constructed”. She stated that the project builds peace and resilience in the minds of the young people in the six countries. She was thankful as Japans support would allow IICBA to work very effectively with teachers and make sure that IICBA could continue supporting peace and development through education in the region.