Okayama University


UNCTAD Publishes Webpage Dedicated to the Young Female Scientist Programme

September 29, 2021

On January 9, Okayama University became the first university in the world to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Both entities agreed to support skills development in the fields of science, technology and innovation (STI) to help realize the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and subsequently established short- and long-term joint research and training courses for young female researchers from UNCTAD member countries in Africa and the ASEAN region. Recently, UNCTAD published a webpage dedicated to the short-term joint research and training course offered at Okayama University on its official website.

As part of the short-term course, participants were meant to join short-term research projects that align with their fields of interest at Okayama University’s laboratories and research facilities to learn more about the SDGs initiatives promoted by the university. However, the programme was moved online in April 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from giving an overview of the programme, the new webpage also has a news page with feature articles describing the structure of the program; the various efforts by participants as they attempt to continue their research activities under the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic; and events related to the programme, for example, the online progress meeting held on August 25.

Reacting to the newly-created webpage, Senior Vice President for Global Engagement Strategy YOKOI Atsufumi commented, “It means a lot to us at Okayama University that this initiative, both as a university initiative and as a Japanese initiative, has been publicly shared on the UNCTAD official website. Japan has often been criticized for lagging behind other developed countries when it comes to women’s participation in research fields even as the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion have steadily gained significance worldwide. I want to accelerate university efforts to develop and support sustainable development initiatives encouraging female researchers to play more active roles in research related to science, technology and innovation.”

Webpage introducing the Young Female Scientist Programme:

UNCTAD Official Website:

○ United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UNCTAD is an intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. Located in Geneva, it works together with other UN departments and agencies to comprehensively address issues related to trade, finance, investment, technology and sustainable development in developing countries facing problems arising from globalization by maximizing their opportunities and equipping them with the means to integrate into the global economy on an equal footing.