3. Bridging Continents: A Catalyst for African-Japan Economic Partnerships

Bridging Continents: A Catalyst for African-Japan Economic Partnerships

Featured News 2023.11.13

Luo, an ambitious Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) Scholar from Zambia, embodies a relentless drive to contribute to economic empowerment and growth in her homeland. Currently pursuing her second year in Global Business at the University of Hyogo in Japan, her passion fuels her mission: fostering economic independence among Zambian youth through entrepreneurship.

In pursuing this goal, Luo actively engages with the African Diaspora Network Japan (ADNJ). Her involvement as a volunteer in event management for the Osaka Africa Business Forum 2023 was more than a commitment; it was a transformative journey. She states, “My motivation to work with ADNJ was to connect with the African diaspora in Japan. Also, I would like to be a useful connection for Japanese companies looking to start or invest in businesses in Zambia or other African countries.”

Luo’s role within ADNJ was pivotal. She meticulously recruited and organized volunteers, ensuring the seamless execution of tasks during the event. Her dedication transformed the experience into what she aptly describes as “a passion-evoking experience,” affirming her desire to serve African businesses. “I found that the objectives of the organization and the forum aligned with my future goals, and hence I decided to not only attend but also help organize the event.”

Attending the Osaka Africa Business Forum was not just a milestone; it was a platform for Luo to interact and network with Japanese companies keen on investing in Africa. She remarked, “What stood out the most for me was learning the importance of representing Africa and our talents and skills. The number of Japanese attendees of the summit reflected the growing interest Japanese companies and organizations have in African businesses. I also had many conversations with Japanese CEOs and company representatives who expressed a keen interest in expanding their activities to African markets, but they lack the proper information and channels to connect with Africa.”

For Luo, the Africa Japan Business Summit was a catalyst, propelling her towards her aspirations. “I aspire to continue managing similar forums, leveraging my connections to fuel economic growth in Zambia.”

Reflecting on her journey, Luo emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between Africa and Japan. “I can use my professional career, career aspiration, and passion for Africa’s development in a very beneficial way by being a bridge between Africa and Japan as an individual or with organizations like the Africa Diaspora Network.”

Looking ahead, Luo remains determined. “I am motivated to continue attending forums and working with companies and organizations that align with my passion for economic development in Zambia. I also hope to return to Africa with the connections I have gathered through the Africa Diaspora Network in Japan to foster economic growth through policy reforms that encourage youths to participate more actively in entrepreneurship.”

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