Okayama University


Okayama University and UNCTAD Hold Online Ceremony to Officially Launch the “Young Female Scientist Programme in Japan”

November 13, 2020

On November 11, Okayama University and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held an online ceremony to launch a new human resources development program that enables young female researchers from developing countries to study in Japan.

On January 9, Okayama University became the world’s first university to sign a memorandum of understanding with the UNCTAD. Both entities agreed to foster human resource development according to the framework of “Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals” (STI for SDGs) and the “Young Female Scientist Programme in Japan” was established as a direct result. For the first iteration of the program, 7 young female researchers from UNCTAD member countries were selected to participate in two-to-four-week short-term cutting-edge research activities. The participants are from ASEAN and African countries, with 2 participants representing Botswana, and 1 participant from Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Thailand, respectively.

Selected participants were given the opportunity to connect with UNCTAD and Okayama University representatives in the online launch ceremony, which was attended by Okayama University President MAKINO Hirofumi, Executive Director for Planning and General Affairs TAKAHASHI Kayo, Executive Director for Academic Affairs and Provost SANO Hiroshi, Executive Director for Research and Vice President NASU Yasutomo, Vice President for International Affairs KIMURA Kunio and Vice President for Global Engagement Strategy and a UNESCO Chair Holder YOKOI Atsufumi, UNCTAD Director of Division on Technology and Logistics Shamika N. Sirimanne, and UNCTAD Chief of Science, Technology, and ICT Branch, Division on Technology and Logistics Angel GonzalezSanz, among others. President Makino opened the ceremony by addressing the selected participants, saying, “Okayama University is committed to achieving the SDGs and I hope that the opportunity to use our research facilities and interact with our diverse researchers will encourage you to build and embrace a new paradigm as you consider how to contribute to the STI for SDGs.” Director Sirimanne added that “UNCTAD and Okayama University recognize that supporting young female researchers from developing countries is critical to implementing the STI for SDGs. I am very pleased that this program has been established.”
After the opening remarks, the young female scientists and university representatives made introductions and interacted amicably, setting the stage for a fruitful program. Vice President Kimura also explained the significance of the program and outlined the upcoming travel procedures for the young female researchers, who will travel to Japan from their respective countries.

During the program, participants will join short-term research activities that align with their fields of interest at Okayama University’s laboratories and research facilities and learn more about the SDGs initiatives promoted by the university.

As an organizer of this program, Okayama University is actively cultivating a closer connection with UNCTAD - a UN body that fosters partnerships to implement the STI for SDGs - while supporting human resource development and promoting the STI for SDGs both domestically and globally.

○ United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UNCTAD is a parmanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. Their headquarters are located in Geneva. They work together with other UN Secretariat to comprehensively addresses issues related to trade, finance, investment, technology, and sustainable development in developing countries facing various problems arising from globalization by maximizing their opportunities and equipping them with the means to integrate into the global economy on an equal footing.