History of the JICA Alumni Association Worldwide
The JICA Alumni Association in Jamaica is one of over one hundred JICA Alumni Associations worldwide. In 1954, the Japan International Cooperation Agency commenced its Overseas Technical Training Programme in Japan. At the Beginning of the programme, 134 foreign nationals were invited to Japan for training.
Since that period the Overseas Technical Training Programme has expanded. It is now considered as the “largest training programme of its kind in the world”, as there are over 162, 000 participants originating from over 170 countries that have been trained in Japan. Participants from the Programme play a very important role in the improvement of numerous industries and they contribute greatly to the economic development of their respective countries. Participants generally express appreciation to JICA for their training in Japan because they get the opportunity to be exposed to the use of the latest technology and they are able to study “best practices” of not only the Japanese but people from other nations.
These former participants of JICA training courses in Japan have integrated and have formed the JICA Alumni Association worldwide.
The JICA Alumni Association in Jamaica was incorporated on March 2, 1998. The Association commenced under the guidance of diplomats of the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica and the officials of the JICA/JOCV Jamaica Office.
The JAAJ is comprised of Jamaican officials, technocrats and administrators who received technical training in Japan under the bilateral technical cooperation programme between the governments of Jamaica and Japan.
JICA Alumni Associations worldwide act as a bridge in the promotion of friendship between the participating countries and Japan. This relationship has been fostered and strengthened over the years. Cooperation between both countries has increased steadily and the JAAJ carries out the following objectives:
· Promote JICA’s Overseas Technical Training Programme in Japan to many Jamaicans
· Hold Seminars for Human Resource Development (HRD) managers from Jamaican government agencies, ministries and non-governmental organizations
· Expose Jamaicans to the Japanese language and culture by holding the Summer Programme on Japan and also the Japan/Jamaica Cultural Exchange Night
Collaboration with the Embassy of Japan
The JAAJ works closely with the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica. Every year the JAAJ requests the assistance of the Cultural Department of the Embassy of Japan and borrows cultural goods, which are then used in the promotion of Japanese culture. Summer schools and Cultural Festivals provide the opportunity for children and participants to be given firsthand experience of interacting with Japanese dress, games, equipment and literature.