An ILO public seminar on the Realization of Decent Work in Africa was held on December 19, 2007 connecting the TDLC with Ghana and Tanzania. Over 70 experts and practitioners gathered in Tokyo and took part in an active Q & A session with panelists.
The Kenya Development Learning Centre (KDLC) was launched on November 9, 2007, becoming the 12th member of the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) in Africa. With the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) scheduled for next year, Africa ranks high on the agenda of the Japanese development community. The new center in Kenya and the TDLC can capitalize on the need for Asia-Africa cooperation in both the public and private sectors.
The Kenya Center launch and the welcome video displayed at the beginning of the event is available for view on the GDLN website.
Francophone countries in Africa have now begun receiving JICA-Net seminars in French via the GDLN. The inaugural sessions conducted in October 2007 both focused on principles that Japan has become famous for - “KAIZEN” and “One Village One Product”. The TDLC began delivering JICA-Net Seminars to Anglophone Africa in October 2005, counting 28 seminars to date, and responded to demand from French speaking centers as well.
The “Africa Asia NGO Network Workshop in Tokyo”, sponsored by JICA and organized by the TICAD Civil Society Forum, conducted its closing session on October 26, 2007 via videoconference connecting from the TDLC with 6 African countries to share the results of the 2-day workshop.
Mr. Shigeo Takenaka, Secretary General of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), visited the TDLC on October 2, 2007 to observe the final session of the organization’s course on ISO 22000. The APO, one of the TDLC’s earliest partners, has been working through the TDLC to expand their distance learning training programs.
How can new technologies help build microfinance capacity in developing countries? The Microfinance Training of Trainers (MFToT) course has led the way with its unique blended learning approach. The fourth series which opened at the TDLC on August 16, 2007 takes advantage of webcasting to deliver videoconference lectures, vastly expanding accessibility. Moodle, an open-source learning management system, was incorporated for the first time – allowing 653 participants from 52 countries to register on-line.
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The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) embraces e-learning on an unprecedented scale this summer, providing 3 training programs in 9 phases for more than 900 participants in 16 countries via the GDLN. Amounting to roughly 40% of the total number trained by the organization annually in face-to-face sessions, the APO hopes to intensify its focus on e-learning as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional training methods.
Research institutes in Japan, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Turkey connected via the GDLN on July 18, 2007 to take part in the “Thematic International Workshop 2007 on Feasible and Affordable Seismic Constructions in Developing Countries”. These 5 countries are participating in an ongoing collaborative research and development project to mitigate damage in earthquake prone areas in Asia, using videoconferencing as a way to share information and discuss future plans.
School children in Bangkok made their “debut” on screen in Japan during a Kids Initiative videoconference session held on July 17, 2007 acting out a skit explaining why many Thai people wear yellow. Counterparts in Japan responded with a presentation on school life in Tokyo. Kids Initiative is a World Bank TDLC program which utilizes videoconference and other communication technologies to promote multi-cultural exchanges between children to prepare them for an increasingly interconnected world.
Hitotsubashi University’s Asian Public Policy Program (APPP) held its second “reunion” via the GDLN on June 28, 2007. Professor Hisanobu Shishido moderated from the TDLC connecting to alumni in Beijing, Manila, Hanoi and Jakarta. Over thirty attended the seminar in Tokyo, including students currently enrolled in the program.