Contact Information

Theodore Lowe, Ap #867-859
Sit Rd, Azusa New York

We Are Available 24/ 7. Call Now.

In recent years Rwandans have been seeing more Japanese coming into Rwanda, opening restaurants in Kigali, seen Japanese volunteers in rural areas teaching hygiene practices and agriculture technics and a good number of Rwandans have heard of famous Rusumo modern bridge and a one stop border post between Rwanda and Tanzania. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has worked for 10 years up to now in Rwanda, plays a pivotal role in cooperation between Rwanda and Japan, Takahiro Moriya its Chief Representative replies to Umuseke questions….

Takahiro Moriya JICA Chief Representative in Rwanda responding to Umuseke questions
Takahiro Moriya JICA Chief Representative in Rwanda responding to Umuseke questions

What is JICA? And why is it in Rwanda?
Takahiro Moriya: JICA stands for Japan International Cooperation Agency, which works under the Government of Japan. That means we work closely with the embassy of Japan in Rwanda. In Rwanda, we are here to effectively implement the development assistance supported by Japan.

What should a simple Rwandan citizen understand when she/he hears of the word JICA?
Takahiro Moriya: In general we have four pillars of our operations; the first one is economic infrastructure including transport and energy especially in electricity; the second is agriculture focusing on market oriented agriculture; the third is social affair focusing on water supply in rural areas; the fourth is human resource development, which means education, where we are focusing on areas of science and math education mainly at secondary schools level and also the vocational training, TVET. Apart from the four pillars we are also supporting ICT development in Rwanda.

JICA recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in Rwanda. How did you start the support to Rwanda 10 years ago?
Takahiro Moriya: After JICA re-opened its office in Rwanda it has supported social reintegration and reconstruction after the Genocide in 1994. We encouraged people’s involvement in the society development, for example we supported social reintegration of demobilized ex-combatants with disabilities and also we supported TVET since that time to increase the number of capable people in industry sector of this country.

10 years in Rwanda, what are the results of JICA activities?
Takahiro Moriya: It is not easy to describe everything because JICA works in so many areas, but in general, we worked to help the capacity development for the country. When we talk about the capacity development, we intend to help building the capacity both at individual level and at institutional level. The combination of supports to hardware infrastructure and software capacity development to sustain it has been applied to all the sectors. For instance, we supported the construction of water supply facilities in the Eastern Province, and we also helped the local people and cooperatives to better use and maintain these facilities.

What should Rwandans expect from JICA in years ahead?
Takahiro Moriya: We work under country assistance strategy which was agreed between the two Governments of Rwanda and Japan and also in the four pillars I mentioned before. They are in line with the Vision 2020 and EDPRS II national policy and strategies. So in the time ahead, it is a matter of your country because your own vision and your strategies will be important elements to think about our policies and strategies.
And globally, we have a global agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that we also get in line with. That is how we will be supporting the national agenda and strategies in Rwanda and globally.

Is JICA doing something for business development in Rwanda?
Takahiro Moriya: I have been here for more than three years. During the past three years, more Japanese private companies have been coming to do business in Rwanda. Many Japanese companies have been coming here looking for the idea of business.

For a tangible example, one of JICA volunteers who finished his assignment here came back and started his own business this year. Also, this year, other Japanese people have opened two restaurants in Kigali.

Under the government of Japan’s ABE Initiative (Africa Business Education for Youth Initiative), JICA has invited 16 Rwandans, mainly from the private sector, to study in the Japanese universities and given them opportunities to intern at the private companies in Japan. I hope, when they come back to Rwanda, they will become a bridge between the private sectors of the two countries.

We also work with the Private Sector Federation, particularly with its ICT Chamber. In September, we organized the tour to Japan to attract the Japanese private companies to work with Rwandan ICT companies. I believe more and more Japanese companies are interested in doing that.

The bridge and one stop border post (OSBP) between Rwanda and Tanzania is seen to be the biggest project that, through JICA, the Government of Japan has financed, any other such projects ahead?
Takahiro Moriya: Apart from that project of Rusumo one border post post (OSBP) and bridge between Rwanda and Tanzania, we have other important projects, too. For example, in Ngoma District we are doing irrigation construction by collaborating with a Japanese construction company. We also have been working for the construction of water supply systems in eastern province, where our support provides safe water to more than 130 000 people. We are also supporting establishing a distribution network of electricity including sub-stations. So we are continuing our support for such important projects in economic infrastructure development.

What is the Japanese people’s perception on the effectiveness of their money to Rwanda?
Takahiro Moriya: In Japan, people appreciate friendship between Rwanda and Japan, but not just that friendship but also partnership in different areas also including the private sector. This is why there is a larger number of Japanese companies getting interested in Business in Rwanda.
The peace and stability in Rwanda also is a big impression to the Japanese private companies.

Through the nearly half a century of cooperation between Rwanda and Japan, has Japan gained any advantage back from Rwanda?
Takahiro Moriya: In the past years, both countries have had difficult scenes so it hasn’t been easy, but both countries have been trying to make the foundations of the partnership. Now the Japanese side is expecting so much from Rwanda in the next years, however, looking back in 2011, it was a hard year for Japan because of the big earthquake that hit the eastern part of Japan. Your country provided sympathy messages to Japan, and the people of Japan appreciated it a lot.

Click here to read more articles about JICA