This report gives an account of my attachment to Tokyo University of Foreign Studies undertaken from 1st April to 31st July 2019. The focus of my attachment was on teaching and research activities (seminar /conferences presentations). In terms of the structure of this report, the section on teaching activities is followed by research/seminar presentations, extracurricular activities, and conclusion.
As for teaching, I was allocated two courses which I taught for the whole semester; an undergraduate course (Regional Planning and Development) and a master's course (Planning for Sustainable Regional Development). For the undergraduate class, there was a total of 16 all Japanese students whereas the masters class comprised 10 students; 5 Chinese, 2 Japanese, 1 Nigerian, 1 Bangladeshi, and 1 Zimbabwean. The master's class was more interactive in lectures than the undergraduate one possibly due to lack of exposure as they all seemed to be below 20 years of age.
3. Research/Seminar Presentation
During my four months stay at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, I presented three seminar papers. The first seminar presentation was held on 25th April 2019 at my host university (TUFS) and this presentation attracted up to approximately 60 participants, including those from outside the university and one member of staff from the Zambia Embassy in Japan. The title of the presentation was "China-Zambia Relations: what went wrong, when and why". The second presentation was held at Kyoto University on 20th May 2019. The title of presentation was "Significance, and Institutional Support to Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Africa: Evidence from Zambia". The third presentation entitled "Firm Performance in an African Environment: The Food Processing Sub-Sector in Zambia" took place at the Institute for Development Economics (IDE) in Tokyo on 17th June 2019.
I also attended the 56th Annual Conference of Japan Association of African Studies held 18th-19th May at Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto which attracted researchers from both Japan and Africa. Further, I had the opportunity of discussing the possibilities of cotutelle programme; a mutual supervision system between Kyoto University Staff and staff from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zambia. I was also privileged to be included in a Japanese project called the African Potentials, which focuses on localisation of solutions to the contemporary African problems. To this end, a conference will be held at the end December/early November 2019 in Lusaka at which I am expected to be one of the presenters.
4. Extracurricular Activities
I was involved in other activities not directly related to the terms of reference of my appointment as a visiting researcher. Some of these activities included interviews and visiting places of interest. To this effect, I was interviewed on 22nd July 2019 by the Director/Producer of NHK World called Global Agenda Programme with respect to investing in Africa as part of the preparations for Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to be aired at the end of August. Furthermore, on 24th July 2019, I had a discussion with a development consultant and researcher at K-Three Inc. in Tokyo on Urban Low-Income Housing in Lusaka. A follow up meeting was held at UNZA on 13th August 2019.
In addition to the foregoing, I attended Kuruyami Festival in Fuchu-Shi, Tokyo on 4th May 2019 and participated in the pulling of the carriage after visiting the shrine. On the 20th of May 2019, I visited several sites of historical importance in Kyoto City. Specifically, three sites of historical significance were visited including, Nijo-jo Castle, the Golden Temple commonly known as Kinkaku-ji, and Kitano Tenmangu shrine. The tour of these sites was very exciting as it enabled me to appreciate the rich history and culture of Japanese people dating back to over thousands of years. Kinkaku-ji whose official name is Rokuon-ji, a Zen Buddhist Temple is one of the most popular places in Japan and each year attracts thousands of tourists.
In conclusion, I would like to state that the trip to Japan afforded me an opportunity to learn how other universities operate and this exposure is very important and enriching. Academically, both the teaching and learning environments for teachers and students respectively were conducive. Moreover, the experience of teaching a class of students of different nationalities with different norms, habits and practices was of immense benefits in the extreme. I, therefore, would like to thank both managements at the University of Zambia and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies for facilitating my trip to Japan at TUFS as a visiting researcher.