- Kenya and Japan
- Official Development Assistance/Cultural Exchanges/JET Programme
Official Development Assistance/
Official Development Assistance
In keeping with its geopolitical importance Kenya is the largest recipient of Japanese ODA in Africa and in addition hosts several of the regional assistance projects. Japan is also Kenya’s leading development partner and Japan’s assistance plays a crucial role in Kenya’s development. The priority sectors of Japan’s current country assistance programme include, Human Resource Development, Agriculture, Economic Infrastructure, Health, Education and the Environment. ODA to Kenya is in the form of Grant Aid; loan aid and Technical Corporation.
Cultural exchange between Kenya and Japan is dynamic and focuses on people to people exchange in various fields such as, performing arts, music, and sports (like volleyball and athletics).
Kenya’s Women National Volleyball team has participated in several prominent events in Japan, including two World Cups and a World Championship and the team has also benefited from a Japanese Coach sponsored by Japan Foundation. Kenya also has the largest number of Foreign athletes resident in Japan taking an active part in high school, college and company sponsored teams. Meanwhile, Kenya has hosted visits from Japanese teams including a little league baseball team, a demonstration team from Japan’s National Sumo Association and Japan’s athletes at Kenya’s world famous high altitude training camps.
The Japan Foundation has also dispatched several musicians including jazz and traditional Japanese drummers who held well attended joint concerts with Kenyan performers. Japan also provides extensive cultural grant aid and grant assistance for grassroots projects as well as invites journalists from Kenya for working tours and sponsors Foreign Press Centre Fellowship programmes.
In 2007 Japan invited Kenya to join the JET Programme, which enable local authorities (prefectures, designated cities and other municipalities) to employ young Kenyan men and women for the purpose of improving their foreign language education as well as promoting international exchange at the local level. By teaching English at schools and assisting with international exchange activities organized by local authorities in Japan, Kenya’s young people are engaging at different levels with local residents and thus increasing cross cultural understanding whilst contributing to internalization efforts within Japan.