Ambassador Takata’s Public Lecture at the University of Nairobi

Ambassador Takata with a cross-section of the audience
On April 25, 2012, H. E. Ambassador Toshihisa Takata gave a public lecture at the University of Nairobi. The lecture, titled ‘Japan’s Experience of the March 11, 2011 Earthquake & Tsunami’ was delivered at the Education Theatre II and was attended by students from the Faculty of Arts, Engineering, Education and Physical Sciences.
A scene from the play
The poet in action
Following the Ambassador’s arrival at the venue, students from the literature department treated the audience to a poem and a skit. The poem was a tribute to the iconic environmental and political activist, Wangari Maathai. The skit touched on, among other things the preparedness (or lack thereof) of individuals and institutions for natural disasters. This was echoed in the Ambassador’s lecture when he informed the audience that about 90% of the damage experienced during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami was as a result of the tsunami and not the earthquake. This showed that while they were prepared for an earthquake of a large magnitude, they were not quite prepared for the kind of tsunami they experienced.
Prof. Kaimenyi, DVC Academic
Ambassador Takata

After the entertainment by the literature department, and opening remarks by Prof. Njeru, Principal, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, and Prof. Kaimenyi, DVC Academic, Ambassador Takata addressed the audience. In his address, he talked about the three main mid to long term challenges Japan is facing and what is being done to overcome them. These challenges were:

In addition to giving a lecture on Japan’s Experience of the March 11, 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, Ambassador Takata also talked about the Kenya-Japan relations in general. He mentioned some of the instances that Kenya and Japan have worked together.  Most notably, he expressed his wish for Kenya to graduate from being a country reliant on development cooperation to one that is self-sufficient.

After the lecture, Mrs. Anna Mwangi moderated the plenary discussions. The questions asked focused on nuclear power in general and nuclear power as an alternative source of energy in Kenya.

Professor Preston Chitere closed the session. In his closing remarks, he put it to the audience that we can expect, take mitigation measures, but what we get can surpass our expectations. This comment reiterated Ambassador Takata’s caution that the impossible is possible.