Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) has received five volunteers to be dispatched to various government departments, bringing to 21 the number of Japanese volunteers currently serving in the country under the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV), which is the overall technical assistance program of JICA.
The latest addition of Japanese volunteer experts is a continuation of the assistance that Botswana has been receiving from Japan since 1992 when JICA first set up in Gaborone.
The new volunteers have been in the country for two weeks and are already singing praises about Botswana’s peace and tranquility. They said they were mostly happy with the warm reception they received from the locals.
The Japanese volunteers landed in Gaborone two weeks ago and have already travelled to Ghanzi, Sowa Town and Masunga where they interacted with locals.
Most of them can already exchange pleasantries in Setswana and have given themselves Setswana names.
They have also attended local events such as the President Day competitions where they learnt a lot about local music and culture.
Motoe ‘Sethunya’ Horikawa is a web and graphic designer and will be attached to the Ministry of Health.
Hiromi ‘Ame’ Ito, a graphic designer by profession, will impart her skills at the Department of National Museum and Monuments. Yasuyoshi Shimikazi, an expert in Public Administration, will be attached in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology.
Ko Ito, also a Public Administrator, will be placed at the Directorate of Public Service Management. Masamitsu Kaji, a Police consultant and former detective will be attached to the Botswana Police Service.
The volunteers thanked JICA for offering them a life-time opportunity to come to Botswana, a country which, by their own admission, is relatively unknown known in Japan.
The JOCV program was incepted in 1965 by the Government of Japan as an organization under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan to provide official technical assistance to developing countries.
This assistance takes the form of Japanese volunteers working directly with the people of the host countries to transfer skills and knowledge.
JICA also sends 40 officials from various government departments in Botswana to Japan every year for technical training.