The United Nations University ? Higher Education and Sustainable Development in Africa


I assume that many of you readers have heard of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of UN.

It is an ambitious goal which the member nations of the UN promised to achieve by 2015.  However, the situation has changed drastically in these 10 years and now the world is shifting to a very different stage from the 2000’s, the time when the MDGs were planned by the UN.

Given this background, ”International Symposium on the Role of Higher Education for Sustainable Development in Africa” was held at the United Nations University in Aoyama, Tokyo, on October 13th and 14th.

I myself have been working on this theme with the world’s science community (ICSU, IAP, IAC, etc.) (in Japanese) personally and through various organizations such as the Science Council of Japan (in Japanese), the government of Japan, the United Nation’s University (in Japanese), and the World Bank.  Perhaps partly because they knew this, they invited me to give a Keynote lecture.  Unfortunately, I had to go to Abu Dhabi and Washington DC during those days as posted earlier, so with their permission, I decided to prepare a video message.

By coincidence, Dr Miriam Were, the laureate of the Hideyo Noguchi African Prize (Ref.1) was in Japan and planned to visit me on that same day of recording, so I asked her to join in the video.  It was a nice, unexpected, great “Surprise” to the audience of the UNU Symposium.  I thank Professor Masafumi Nagao, and staffs for their support in making this happen.

A report on this Symposium posted on the web site of the UNU (Ref.1) has commented on my video message, too.  I was very pleased and thankful to know this.

I plan to create a link to this video on my web site, so please look forward to viewing it.