[15th December 2010]

Embassy joins in the climax of the “Africa Week” at the Asia Pacific University

From left to right; Mr. Mose Omwoyo, Mr. Mathew Kaikai, Prof. Yakushiji Kimio - Vice President - APU College of Asia Pacific Studies, H.E. Amb. Benson H.O Ogutu, Prof. Junichi Hirata - Vice President of APU Academics and Admissions, H.E. Dr. Mikusita W. Lewanika - Ambassador of Zambia, Mr. Vitalis Menya, Mr. Moses Mbogua and Mr. Eugene Wanyama.

Friday December 10, 2010 was a night of pomp and grandeur at the Asia Pacific University (APU) in Oita Prefecture as the “Africa Week came to a close. Beginning December 6th, the African students at the University organized various activities depicting Africa, its unity in diversity and human potential.

Earlier in the day, the Ambassador paid a courtesy calls on the Deputy Mayor of Beppu City (where APU is located) and the Vice President of APU. They discussed wide ranging issues pertaining to education and bilateral relations between Kenya and Japan.

APU was founded barely ten (10) years ago and currently boasts of over 6, 000 students, 2, 837of whom are international students from 85 countries. APU has thus greatly contributed to Oita’s pre-eminent position as the most preferred destination for international students. Currently there are nine (9) undergraduate students and one (1) post graduate student from Kenya at the University.

During the closing event of the “Africa Week”, Ambassadors of Kenya and Zambia graced the occasion. Read more for the statement of the former:

SPEECH NOTES FOR H.E. THE AMBASSADOR DURING THE AFRICAN WEEK EVENT IN RITSUMEIKAN ASIA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY HELD ON 10TH DECEMBER, 2010 AT THE UNIVERSITY.

Members of Faculty and Administration of the University
Prof. Dr. Sanga-Ngoie Kazadi,
Students Organizers of the African Week,
Ambassador of Zambia,
Students of Asia Pacific University,
Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. It gives me great pleasure to be with you during this evening to celebrate the climax of the African week that had been running since Monday 6th December, 2010.
  2. I wish to take this early opportunity to thank the leadership of the University for supporting this very vital event that would only go to show the identity and culture of Africa.
  3. Owing to its important role in integrating people of different background, culture is critical to human development. So I came here today on my own capacity in recognition of the role of culture in building and enhancing cooperation among countries in the world. It is in such events that people of different races, creeds and nationalities come together.
  4. All over the world culture and arts have been utilized to educate, inform, entertain, and even transmit knowledge especially moral values. The cultural festivals used to provide a platform for people of different walks of life to dialogue with a view of sharing ideas on national, regional and indeed international concerns.
  5. I really want to commend the African students at this University for the time and efforts you have given in making this event a successful one and I urge you all to be good ambassadors of your beloved countries. Continue showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of the African culture. I am really glad that even while far away from home you could remember to celebrate the African culture.
  6. In Kenya, we regard the rich cultural diversity in the Africa continent as an asset, a goldmine that has not yet been fully exploited. We have a fully fledged Ministry of National Heritage and culture, whose mission is to develop, promote, preserve and disseminate Kenya’s diverse cultural and natural heritage through formulation and implementation of policies to build national pride and improved livelihood of the Kenyan people.
  7. Indeed, in our new Foreign Policy dispensation cultural diplomacy is a major pillar. This is because cultural diplomacy is the linchpin of public diplomacy. It is through cultural activities that a nation identity is best manifested.
  8. In addition, the unemployment challenge in Africa can be effectively alleviated by engaging the talented youth in cultural industries like music, film, dance, acrobatic, among other creative arts. These activities would not only enable youth to make money but will keep them usefully engaged. Indeed the creative cultural industries in developed nations are among the most dynamic sectors of their economies contributing to about 7% of the world GDP.
  9. I am informed that different cultural manifestation would be presented ranging from concerts to dances and that it will be a time to reflect on the African culture. Mine is to wish you well in this important activity.
  10. I wish to assure you that my Embassy will continue to support such cultural activities in future. Thank you very much.

Embassy of the Republic of Kenya
Tokyo

December, 2010

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