Throughout the courtesy call held in the Office of the Vice Chancellor, President Yoshiomi Tamai-the Founder and President of Ashinaga-Japan spoke with a lot of optimism about Africa. With his rich and generous heart, his love for Africa and the African people stands out. He would like to see a happy, free and empowered African people.
On Friday 12th December 2014, the 79 year old, President Yoshiomi Tamai who is credited with having supported over 800 orphans in Africa to access education, and engaging the youth to play their role in the realization of poverty eradication in Africa, shared Ashinaga’s 100 year plan for Africa with the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu.
To date, Ashinaga has provided $1 billion in educational aid to some 90,000 orphaned students in Japan, and its activities have extended to 21 countries and regions. Sharing the Ashinaga 100 year plan, President Yoshiomi Tamai informed the Vice Chancellor that the plan for Africa prioritizes access to education. It entails supporting orphans to access higher education in Africa and abroad. It is envisaged that with this support, poverty eradication and leadership development will be realized. Ashinaga is planning to support 49 students from sub-Saharan Africa to access higher education with Makerere University playing a central role.
“Mr. Vice Chancellor, I come to you with a proposal. Four days ago I met the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University in UK who has accepted to partner with Ashinaga. I propose that we collaborate with Oxford in UK, Ashinaga in Japan and Makerere University in Uganda and put our efforts together to enable orphans access education and contribute to poverty eradication in Africa. With Makerere University, we want the African people involved,” said the President Yoshiomi Tamai.
Reiterating the fact that education is the key to development, the Vice Chancellor- Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu welcomed the proposal with utmost humility.
“I have no objection. We thank you for developing Africa and for choosing Makerere University as a partner. Makerere recognizes partnership as a strategic goal and is ready to strengthen the partner with Ashinaga to contribute to the transformation of Africa and the realization of the Ashinaga 100 year plan for Africa,” remarked Professor Ddumba-Ssentamu.
Giving a highlight on the relationship between Makerere University School of Psychology and Ashinaga, Professor Peter K. Baguma reported that the collaboration, which started in 2010, has continued to grow and benefitted people in Uganda and beyond.
“Mr. Vice Chancellor, the staff in the School of Psychology continue to provide professional services to Ashinaga. The students from the School of Psychology have accessed internship placement in Ashinaga, which has been very crucial to their academic growth. Currently, 10 students from 10 sub-Saharan counties are being trained to ensure that they get the required grades to access the university education. In 2015, we hope to enroll these 10 students in the best universities worldwide,” said Professor Baguma, Dean-School of Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University.
As a way of reaching out to the young people/future leaders, President Yoshiomi Tamai on Thursday 11th December 2014 delivered a public lecture titled: Poverty Eradication in Sub-Saharan Africa: Creating Global Leaders through Higher Education. With the Ambassador of Japan to Uganda, H.E Junzo Fujita as Guest of Honour, President Yoshiomi Tamai shared the Ashinaga Perspective with over 270 students who convened in the Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University. Professor Livingstone S. Luboobi, Former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University was the discussant at the Public Lecture.
Story by: Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office
Photos by: Elias Tuhereze, Public Relations Office