JICA Welcomes new Mission Head
Mr Hiroyuki Kinomoto
Mr Hiroyuki Kinomoto has been newly assigned as Chief Representative of the South African branch office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), with its Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Mr Kinomoto arrived in South Africa on 1 August 2013, and officially took over the reins on 9 August 2013 for a provisional three-year assignment.
Mr Kinomoto is no stranger to Africa. In fact, during his career at JICA spanning 28 years to date, he has visited more than 20 African countries. From 2001 to 2005, whilst the Tanzanian Government was striving for the realisation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) along with development partners including JICA, Mr Kinomoto held the position of Deputy Resident Representative at the JICA Tanzania Office. Prior to his current assignment in South Africa, he was Deputy Managing Director for Budget at the JICA Headquarters. Mr Kinomoto is pleased that his wish for returning to Africa has been fulfilled, and he is very eager to further contribute to the development of Southern Africa.
Following the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), held in June 2013 in Yokohama, Japan, Mr Kinomoto plans on monitoring the implementation of resolutions contained in its Action Plan for application to focus countries under his portfolio. The Action Plan would reaffirm JICA’s mandate of ensuring human security for citizens of developing countries, especially vulnerable groups.
The JICA South Africa Office, located in Pretoria, oversees technical, grant and loan assistance in seven countries in Southern Africa, being Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
In South Africa, JICA implements technical assistance in priority sectors determined by the South African Government from year to year. Technical assistance, for which JICA is traditionally known, includes training in Japan and third countries, the dispatch of Japanese experts and volunteers, and technical cooperation projects comprising a mix of these schemes. To date, more than 1,000 South Africans have been to Japan for training in various fields, and about 80 Japanese volunteers, comprising of both Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and Senior Volunteers, have stepped foot on South African soil since its establishment in 2002. In 2012, JICA celebrated a decade of success with the two-way cultural exchange synonymous with Japanese volunteers living and working with communities, one of the most unique in the world. In 2010, South Africa and Japan celebrated its centennial year, marking a century of diplomatic relations between these two countries. With South African President Jacob Zuma having visited Japan for the first time during TICAD V, and following deliberations with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the relationship is set to continue.
Mr Kinomoto succeeds Mr Toshiyuki Nakamura, who returned to Japan on 9 August 2013 following an assignment of just over three years.