Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences | JIRCAS


JIRCAS International Symposium Proceedings
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African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) is an autonomous international institute whose
core mandate is poverty reduction in Africa through human capacity development. The institute is jointly
funded by the three East African Governments of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with support from the
Government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The idea of setting up a Base
for African Human Capacity Building (BAHCB) was borne from the second Tokyo International Conference
for African Development (TICAD II) in 1998. This led to high level negotiations and commitments that
resulted in the signing of Records of Discussion, Memoranda and Articles of Association by the East African
and Japanese governments. Following these agreements, AICAD was established on 1st August 2000.
AICAD continues to contribute to several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly
poverty reduction. This is enabled through cooperation between the institution and other partners such
as JICA and the International Cooperation Centre for Agricultural Education (ICCAE). AICAD aims to
contribute to poverty reduction in a holistic approach: to establish a base for human capacity building, which
utilises existing knowledge and technology, creates new technology suitable for local conditions, develops
and utilizes the potential capacity of local expertise, builds bridges between institutions which create
technology and communities using it, exchanges information, experiences and practices and shares human
resources and information in the region and beyond.
The institute’s activities conform fully with respective participating Government development
policies governing human resource development and promotion of sustainable and broad based growth.
These include the promotion of research and development, increase in productivity and profitability in
agriculture through technological innovations, public action to eradicate poverty as well as promotion
of agricultural research and extension technology development. AICAD’s mandate is consistent with the
Japanese Governments’ policy; the Japanese Government has been and still is committed to supporting
the TICAD process. Japan’s involvement in human capacity development in East Africa is valuable?
considering JICA experts’ technological advantages in specifi c fi elds and their expertise in overall project
management. Japanese Technical Cooperation with AICAD entails: dispatch of long-term experts (Chief
Advisor, Project Coordinator and Experts), dispatch of short-term experts in accordance with expressed
needs for effective implementation of the project, training of counterpart personnel in Japan and provision
of equipment and budgetary support for activities. This collaboration is expected to enhance partnerships in
matters of staff development, training and extension, research and development and information, network
and documentation.
AICAD’s Research and Development (R&D) division has been well established and implemented.
Since its inception, one Japanese long-term expert and over fifteen short term experts specialising in the
fields of agriculture, social science and engineering among others have been attached to the division for
varying periods in order to work alongside their African counterparts. They have provided advice and
contributed to various aspects of the division’s programs and activities. The terms of reference, number,
timing, duration and quality of short-term experts have been supportive to the implementation of the
programs. As a result, AICAD has registered considerable growth in the area of research collaboration and
capacity building. This has been done by strengthening the framework and operations of AICAD’s R&D
division. Among the specific aspects that have been considerably improved as a direct consequence of
this collaboration are: research proposal selection, research monitoring and evaluation and assessment of
research results for possible translation and transfer to target communities. On the whole, this collaboration
has resulted in AICAD funding and facilitating over one hundred and ten (110) research projects in fi fteen(15) public universities in the region. The program as a whole is achieving its purpose and has contributed
to the enhancement of researchers’ understanding of the importance of social factors related to poverty
reduction. The potential for dissemination has been identifi ed in twenty fi ve (25) projects out of which two
(2) projects are under preparation for dissemination while one (1) project entitled, “Sesame Improvement
for Medium Rainfall Areas of Western Kenya” is being disseminated. Based on the fact that sesame adapts
well to marginal agro-ecological zones and has high oil content, the focus of this project was on evaluating
superior sesame genotypes and promoting appropriate production practices and technologies. It also sought
to enhance the adoption of farm-based sesame oil extractions, consumption and sale by farmers. The results
on seed multiplication and agronomic practices are being packaged and transferred for practical application
by farmers.
AICAD is also working with the ICCAE, Nagoya University in an effort to develop academic
exchange and cooperation in research between the two institutions. This is directed towards exchange of
research activities, joint research activities, exchange of professors and research scholars, training activities,
coordination of professors and research scholars who do not belong to the two institutions into the above
mentioned activities, exchange of scientific materials, publications and information as well as any other
activities as mutually agreed.
The main area of cooperation has been the JICA supported project for promotion of New Rice for
Africa (NERICA) in the east African region. Since rice cultivation in this region is relatively young, with
consumption outstripping production, this collaboration seeks to exploit Japan’s experience and expertise,
particularly that which has seen its agro-researchers’ sustained efforts produce resilient varieties of Japonica
rice resulting in the achievement of self-suffi ciency in rice. Cooperation between AICAD and ICCAE has
been in the area of training and capacity building which has resulted in four (4) Kenyan researchers, who are
members of the NERICA Technical Committee and Working Group for NERICA adaptability trials, accessing
opportunities to work independently at Nagoya University since 2005. They have received facilitation in
carrying out various studies related to the promotion of NERICA cultivation focusing on among others,
investigation of socioeconomic conditions and technology required for extension of NERICA cultivation
in East Africa, genetic characterization of NERICA cultivars, analysis of prerequisites for NERICA
dissemination based on household surveys in Kenya, identifi cation of desirable root traits of rice grown under
alternative dry-wet water regimes in soil and literature review for eco-physiological study of parasitic weed
striga. The researchers have learnt new technologies and knowledge related to rice science which they have
continued to apply in their work revolving around implementation of NERICA adaptability trials. These trials
aim to identify suitable varieties and areas for NERICA cultivation. Four varieties - NERICA 1, 4, 10 and 11
have been identifi ed as the most promising for the growing environment in Kenya.
Phase two of the AICAD/JICA project was concluded in July 2007. This was the operational phase
of the project during which AICAD’s research registered considerable growth. As the project moves into
Phase three, the institute will place increasing emphasis on dissemination of knowledge and technologies to
target communities, as it moves towards achieving its mission of “linking knowledge to application within
communities to reduce poverty in partner countries in Africa”. AICAD will continue to look to both JICA and
ICCAE for both material and technical support based on these institutions’ longstanding experiences in this
fi eld.

Date of issued2007-09-12
CreatorPatrick A. Wakhu


poverty reduction

human capacity development

TICAD process

research and development

PublisherJapan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences
RightsJapan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences