Kyoto University International Symposium “Innovation for Sustainable Development in Africa” (The 97th KUASS)


  • 13 February, 2021(Saturday)
  • 17:00-21:00(Japan-time, GMT+9)
  • online
  • English
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The theme of the Symposium:

This symposium will focus on “innovation for sustainable development in Africa”, and discuss three dimensions of innovation: technologies, institutions and knowledge.


17:00‐17:05 Opening remarks

17:05‐20:55 Oral presentations

“Potential for Commercialization of Tamarind and Baobab fruits: Implications in Zambia”
Progress H. Nyanga (The University of Zambia)

“Acceptance of Newly Introduced Crops in the Local Food Way: A Case Study of Triticale in the Gamo Highlands of Southern Ethiopia”
Hana Shimoyama (Kyoto University)

“Ripe for Disruption: Five I’s for Innovation Management within Academic Institutions in Ethiopia”
Satishkumar Belliethathan and Jeilu Oumer Hussein (Addis Ababa University)

“Informal Economy as a Potential Engine of Development in Africa: The Need of Institutional Innovation and the Promotion of Indigenous Knowhow as Catalyst in a Study Case of Madagascar”
Ramiarison Herinjatovo Aimé (Antananarivo University)

“Innovations from below: grassroots approach to waste collection in Niamey, Niger”
Utako Aoike (Kyoto University)

“Unlocking the Potential of Intraregional Trade in Central Africa: Promoting Sustainable Development with New Innovation Policy”
Otchia Christian Samen (Nagoya University)

“Contract Farming as an Institution to Connect Small-scale Farmers with Global Markets: A Case Study of Nakuru County, Kenya”
Chihiro Kubota (Kyoto University)

“Innovations in Ghanaian dance: a Focus on the Noyam African”
Nii-Tete Yartey (National Theatre of Ghana)

“Capacity Building for Sustainable Conservation”
Hajanirina Rakotomanana (Antananarivo University)

20:55-21:00 Closing remarks

Scopes of the Symposium

 If we are to achieve sustainable development by the SDG target year of 2030 and into the future, it will be essential to confront sustainable development in Africa, which will soon have the largest population in the world.

 Currently, the world including Africa is facing a crisis never seen before: the COVID19 pandemic. Some have pointed out that COVID-19 has halted the tide of globalization. However, if globalization means that economic and social affairs in every corner of the world are becoming more interlinked and synchronized with each other, there is probably no event more symbolic of globalization than the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, there has never been a time when the world has had to work more closely together to make development sustainable than now. The same is true for academic research.

 This symposium will focus on “innovation for sustainable development in Africa”, and discuss three dimensions of innovation: technologies, institutions and knowledge. Getting down to specifics, “sustainable development” is defined here as the use of resources and the environment to meet the needs and promote the well-being of the present generation in a way that does not sacrifice the needs and well-being of future generations.

 In Africa, major changes are now underway: the worsening effects of climate change; natural resource depletion; and a deepening dependence on industrial imports. On the other hand, we can also observe some positive changes such as the spread of ICT, and the growth of various service industries. In order to respond to these challenges and at the same time sustainably meet people’s needs and enhance their well-being, we need to understand how the African people themselves have fostered technologies, institutions and knowledge to sustain their own livelihoods in volatile situations.

 A focus on indigenous technologies, institutions and knowledge offers a way to envision new African innovations that can address Africa’s contemporary challenges and has the potential to break through the limitations of sustainable development arguments as they tend to only imagine the introduction of technologies, institutions and knowledge from outside Africa.

 Furthermore, innovation based on indigeneity can lead to a transcendence of unsustainable and externally dependent development in the sense that it will make use of locally available resources and environment. A number of the above-mentioned changes are common to the world in general and not just Africa, these include climate change, ICT proliferation, and diversification of service industries. To overcome the challenges emanating from these common changing situations, we could learn from the innovative practices African people have accumulated over time and make use of them to help achieve humankind’s common aspiration, sustainable development.

 If we assume that climate change and natural resource depletion are the results of the problematic nature of modern science and technology, which are based on massproduction and mass-consumption derived from developed countries, it will be important to re-evaluate and assess the roles and contributions of technologies, institutions, and knowledge in traditional African cultures, which are distinct from such problems. We would like to think that this symposium will be a starting point for intellectual endeavors that will have great global significance.


13 February, 2021(Saturday)
17:00-21:00(Japan-time, GMT+9)






After finished registration, the access link to participate symposium will be sent by 12 February.
Deadline of registration: 13:00, 12 Feruruary 2021(Japan-time, GMT+9)


The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Addis Ababa University


caas [at]
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