From April 4-15, 2011, a total of 17 public officials from various African countries came to APU for JICA-commissioned training entitled "Community Capacity and Rural Development – Focusing on One Village One Product – for African Countries (B)." The officials, who work in government agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Industry and Trade, participated in the training for almost two weeks. Staff from the Rwanda JICA office also joined in the training.
As the fourth-year installment of training, this training was based on the concept of "capacity development" and aimed to help participants stimulate rural development by successfully making One Village One Product programs around Africa. Countries represented at this training included Ethiopia, Mozambique, Malawi, and 7 others.
In addition to lectures covering theory, evaluation, and case studies of community development, trainees participated in lectures and on-site visits in Oyama-Machi and other locations around Oita Prefecture. They also learned about Beppu Hatto Onpaku, after which they experienced the program first hand. In Oyama-Machi, the trainees were able to stay overnight in family lodges and interact with the locals.
One of the trainees, Mr. David BYAMUKAMA (District Commercial Officer, Production and Marketing Department, Bushenyi District Local Government, Uganda), gave a speech at the closing ceremony during which he offered his condolences to those affected by the recent Great East Japan Earthquake and reflected on the training session, "Through this training we learned how to carry out economic development in regional areas. I think that bringing change to communities can bring change to Africa. I'd really like to have an advanced version of this training course planned for the future".
After being commissioned by JICA in 2006, APU has received program trainees from all over the world. Recently there has been growing demand in Africa for regional development based on the One Village One Product Movement, and APU will hold another training program for African countries in May.