Manifest munificence

Africa apparently has become the new-found interest for Japs, who are quietly targeting their overseas development assistance (ODA) towards helping African nations create a strong base for science and technology. In Kenya, for instance, they have collaborated with the government to establish the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the prestigious Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Despite being a newcomer to Africa, Japan's presence in the continent is steadily increasing. Nations like Kenya are overcrowded with donor agencies, but few have tangible projects that can be associated with sustainable development, environment conservation, disease control or increased food production. The inability to make an impact is a major failure haunting Western ODAs, which have turned to teaming up with agencies like the World Bank, usually associated with inhuman structural adjustment programmes. Japan's ODA to Kenya