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Japan Society for Afrasian Studies (JSAS)

2021 International Conference

Nagoya University

3 July, 2021, 9:30-16:00 (online)


Beyond COVID-19: The Value of Human Capital in the New Afrasian Connectivity


Zoom link:
The venue will open at 9:15 am
Registration NOT required

Program and Speakers

9:30 am (Opening remarks)

9:40 Keynote speech:

Co-Creating Knowledge for Sustainable, Inclusive, and Resilient Development: New Afrasian Connectivity for Shaping a Post-Pandemic World

Prof. Izumi Ohno, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan

10:15. Comments

            Prof. Oussouby Sacko, President, Kyoto Seika University, Japan

            Pro. Liu Haifang, Peking University, China

            Prof. Renu Modi, University of Mombai, India

            Prof. Scarlett Cornelissen, Stellenbosch University, South Africa 

10:55   Short Break

11:00 – 12:00: Panel Discussion

Moderator: Prof. Shoko Yamada, Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University, Japan.

Panelists: Prof. Ohno Izumi, Prof. Liu Haifang, Prof. Renu Modi, and Prof. Scarlett Cornelissen

12:00   Lunch Break

13:00 – 16:00 Research Presentations Session (Details will come soon)

Speakers in the Morning Session

Keynote Speaker

IZUMI OHNO is Professor of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). She specializes in international development policy, Japanese development cooperation, industrial development cooperation, business and development. During Oct. 2018-Sept. 2020, she was Director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development, and continues to serve as Senior Research Advisor to the JICA Ogata Research Institute. Prior to joining GRIPS in 2002, she worked at JICA, the World Bank, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Over the past years, Prof. Ohno has been engaged in a number of advisory committees in the areas of international development, economic cooperation, inclusive business, among others. Since 2009, she has also been engaged in JICA-supported intellectual cooperation, “Japan-Ethiopia industrial policy dialogue,” which aims to share the East Asian development experiences with senior policymakers in Ethiopia. At the JICA Ogata Research Institute, she currently leads a Research Project on the Japanese Experience of Industrial Development and Development Cooperation (2018- present). Her most recent  publications include books on: Industrial Human Resource Development in Developing Countries: Knowledge and Skills in the Era of SDGs (edited with Shoko Yamada, Nippon Hyoronsha, 2021); Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals (edited with Homi Kharas, John McArthur, Brookings Institution, 2019); From a Small Factory in Japan to a Global Firm in Asia: SME’s Overseas Expansion Strategy & Policy Support (ed., Chuo-keizai Publishing Co., 2015). Prof. Ohno holds a MPA from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at the Princeton University in USA.



SHOKO YAMADA is professor of education and development at Nagoya University, Japan. She has conducted various researches on education in Africa, with focus on TVET and skills development. In the last few years, she has been leading the Skills and Knowledge for Youths (SKY) research project which has assessed the skills of industrial workers using the evaluation tools developed uniquely by the project. Her most recent books include “Industrial Human Resource Development in Developing Countries: Knowledge and Skills in the Era of SDGs (edited with Izimu Ohno, Nippon Hyoronsha, 2021) and “Knowledge, School, and Social Structure in Africa” (edited with Akira Takadaand Shose Kessi, Langaa publishing, 2021) 


OUSSOUBY SACKO is President and Professor of Kyoto Seika University in Japan. Born in Mali. he received government scholarship to study architecture in China and then completed his PhD at the Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering, the Kyoto University, Japan. His research explores the relationships between society and architectural space. His publications include Literacy and Culture of Knowledge (Nakanishiya Publishing, 2007) and Contemporary African Culture Today (Seigensha, 2020). He is the 2020-2021 recipient of the Africa Diaspora Network Japan (ADNJ) Award.

Renu Modi is Professor and Director at the Centre for African Studies, University of Mumbai, India.  She has held research fellowships at the University of Oxford, University of Hannover), the Nordic Africa Institute (Uppsala, Sweden), and at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria. Dr.  Modi has taught at the various universities, globally. She has also served as the Social Development consultant for the Inspection Panel (World Bank). Her recent publications include books and documentary films.  These are entitled; Connecting Threads: India- Made in India Fabrics for Africa (2018, documentary film) (with Meera Venkatachalam, Abhishek Sharma and Johann Salazar), which was premiered at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (2018).  Her latest book publications are; India-Africa Partnerships for Food Security and Capacity Building (co-ed with Venkatachalam. M.), Palgrave Macmillan, 2021); Connecting Threads: Made in India Fabrics for Africa (with Venkatachalam, M. and Salaazar,J (  African Studies Centre, Leiden,  2020) and The Palgrave Handbook of Contemporary International Political Economy, (Co-ed with Shaw, T.M., Mahrenbach, L.C., Yi-chong, X.), Palgrave Macmillan, UK, (October 2018).

Liu Haifang is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies, Peking University. She serves as Director of the Centre for African Studies, Peking Uni., and the Vice President of the Chinese Society of African Historical Studies. She previously worked for the Institute of West Asian and African Studies (IWAAS), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a visiting scholar at University of Oslo, the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and The Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. Dr Liu has authored, edited and translated numerous publications in English and Mandarin, including books, such as The Transformative Development of Africa &amp; South- South Cooperation in Agriculture Sector (both English and Chinese versions), Beijing Forum 2017: Emerging trends in Sino-African Development Cooperation, Special Agricultural Foreign Direct Investment in Zambia (both English and Chinese versions), General History of Africa, Angola. She has contributed chapters on aspects of China’s comprehensive presence in Africa to several volumes published by Zed, Brill, Palgrave, Fahamu Publishing house and Routledge. She also has contributed to international academic journals as both reviewers and authors. Liu ‘s current research topics include New Migrants between China and Africa, Chinese company history in Africa, African perceptions of China and Chinese migrants, Chinese Aid, China-African relations, African sustainable development studies and Contemporary Africa International Relations. She teaches courses like Comprehensive African Studies, Introduction to Africa, African Politics and International Relations, Sino-African relations, Theories on Afro-Asian Studies, Chinese Perspectives on Global Migration both in English and Chinese in PKU.

Scarlett Cornelissen is Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, where she lectures Foreign Policy, Global Governance and AsiaAfrica Relations. She is a current co-editor of Geopolitics and past co-editor of the Review of International Studies. She has held fellowships at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, IDE-JETRO, and Kansai and Kyoto University. Her most recent books include Migration and Agency in a Globalizing World: Afro-Asian Encounters (2018, co-edited with Yoichi Mine) and Handbook on Africa-Asia Relations (2018, co-edited with Pedro Miguel Amakasu Raposo de Medeiros Carvalho and David Arase).


We are pleased to announce that the third international conference of the Japan Society for Afrasian Studies (JSAS 2021) will be held ONLINE on July 3rd this year, and we are inviting researchers, practitioners, and students, to send original research abstracts.


About JSAS
JSAS is a multi-disciplinary research platform of African studies in Japan/Asia and, potentially, of Japanese/Asian studies in Africa, and its focus is the creation of intercultural and intergenerational links to facilitate dialogue among participants on issues affecting Africa and Asia.


The proposed theme for JSAS 2021, Beyond COVID-19: The Value of Human Capital in the New Afrasian Connectivity, has been inspired by the global COVID pandemic. Through this theme, we intend to focus on the value of human agency and connectivity in the wake of the global pandemic. Nagoya JSAS invites contributions to enhance our understanding of the current and future challenges facing Africa and Asia. These two regions have some of the world’s youngest and most rapidly growing populations. Rapid demographic changes on the two continents must be kept in mind. The value of human capital, especially the grassroots and the rapidly increasing young population, will be at the center of presentations and discussions at this online event as we look ahead to the post COVID days. 


The webinar language is English.

How to apply:  
Please send your proposals by word file attachment to: by June15th 2021.
Proposals should include the following:
a.    Title
b.    Name(s) of presenter(s) and affiliation(s)
c.    A 300-word (maximum) abstract


The Webinar Organizing Committee will examine the submitted proposals. Accepted papers will be notified by June 25th. 


Please note that prospective presenters need to be members of JSAS. In order to become a member, visit the JSAS website

Webinar Program:  The one-day webinar will be held on July 3rd (Saturday) 2021. In the morning, we will have one keynote speech followed by a plenary session. The academic presentations will take place in the afternoon starting at 13:00. The event program will be released by June 25th.


Venue: Zoom


Registration and other information:  
Information regarding conference fees and pre-registration procedures will be announced in due time.


Inquiries about the workshop should be directed to: or

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