13 December 2019—Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Hon. Yien Oral Lam Tut, Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan His Excellency Seiji Okada, Vice-Chancellor of University of Juba Professor John A. Akec, and UNDP South Sudan Resident Representative Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen led the ribbon cutting and turnover ceremony of the newly constructed Japan Culture Center at the University of Juba coinciding with the second Japanese Fair.
The project, funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNDP, is designed to provide students with access to information and knowledge resources as well as a platform for training and capacity building in digital literacy through online resources. The construction of the centre is part of Japan’s package of assistance through the UNDP-implemented project for the reconstruction of Upper Nile University and renovation and equipping of a Cultural Center within the University of Juba.
“UNDP is very proud to have another occasion to demonstrate what development partnership is all about. It is about focussing on capacities that are required by the young people of South Sudan. UNDP will continue to provide equipment and facilities that will support teaching, learning and research through what has been tagged the ‘Japanese Corner’ at the University of Juba,” stated UNDP South Sudan Resident Representative Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen.
Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, His Excellency Seiji Okada, commended the University of Juba for hosting Japan’s second cultural fair following the first one in 2018. He stated, “this is our second cultural fair in Juba University, and the reason why we stage a cultural fair in the Univesity is to strengthen our ties with the University.” Ambassador Okada reiterated Japan’s support to the government and people of South Sudan, citing his country’s support to the peace process, cantonment and other security arrangements, the contruction of Juba bridge, as well as the reconstruction of Upper Nile University.
Vice-Chancellor of University of Juba Professor John A. Akec, stated, “We at the University of Juba recognize the nature of support provided by the government and people of Japan to South Sudan in the most strategic areas, focussing on things that will sustain us in the future.” He mentioned the agriculture and irrigation master plans, capacity building, vocational training, and education as tangible examples.
“I want to thank the Embassy and people of Japan for this cultural and strategic support as a new addition to the University of Juba which will be a resource for us and a nucleus to understand Japan more for our development,” concluded Professor Akec.
The chief guest of honour, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Hon. Yien Oral Lam Tut expressed gratitude for Japan to stand by the people of South Sudan and contribute positively for their development. He said Japan has done a lot to South Sudan, especially in the sphere of education and support to the universities through the contribution of books and the digital library at the Japanese corner at the University of Juba as well as the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Upper Nile University
With funding from Japan, UNDP has equipped the Japanese Corner at the university with 20 desktop computer units, all connected to WiFi to facilitate teaching, connection with the outside world, including building relationships with Japanese and academic institutions worldwide.