H.E. Ayman Kamel

Former Ambassador-Designate of Egypt to Japan

・In addition to his current position as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Japan, he has also served as Consul-General in Sydney (Australia) and Deputy Ambassador in Amman (Jordan).

・He has more than 32 years of public service as a diplomat and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has been involved in various Egyptian missions abroad, as well as in important international conferences on interfaith dialogue and regional development.

・He has also been involved in volunteering for charity organizations including the International Red Cross.

I would like to express my respect and gratitude for this breakthrough initiative which means so much to us in the Middle East and Africa region, and I am delighted to have been involved in the early stages of its launch and to share my thoughts with its members. I believe it will make a significant contribution to raising awareness of the Middle East and African countries through reliable and fair information, news, advice and sharing of mutual experiences. I wish ZENMONDO success in its important role of social and cultural exchange between the Middle East and Africa region and Japan and I am honored to be associated with its activities.

Kazuto Ataka

Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University
CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), Yahoo Japan Corporation
Director, Data Scientists Society of Japan.

・After working at McKinsey & Company, he joined Yahoo in 2008. At McKinsey, he was one of the core members of the Marketing Research Group in the Asia Pacific region, where he was involved in a wide range of product and business development and brand revitalization. He has been teaching data science at Keio SFC since 2016, and has been in his current position since Fall 2018. He holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Yale University, and has served as a member of many governmental committees on the theme of change in the age of data x AI, including as a member of the Cabinet Office’s CSTI Basic Plan Expert Committee and as Vice Chair of the Study Group on Accreditation System for Mathematical, Data Science and AI Education Programs. He is the author of “Start with Issues” (Eiji Press, 2010) and “Shin Nihon” (NewsPix, 2020).

At a time when the survival of the human race is at stake, the Middle East and Japan are attempting to connect in ways other than energy to create a meaningful future for future generations. It gives me great hope indeed.

Mieko Ikegame

Special Advisor to AUDA-NEPAD President,
visiting professor at Yokohama City University,
visiting lecturer at the University of Tokyo, etc.

・She has worked for the United Nations for 33 years (United Nations Secretariat, United Nations Development Program, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Food Program of the United Nations) and is currently a special advisor to the AUDA-NEPAD President, visiting professor at Yokohama City University, visiting lecturer at the University of Tokyo, representative of the Japan Association of Friends of the United Nations in New York, advisor to the Africa Society, informal advisor to the Africa Committee Council of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, and judge for the Japan Africa Entrepreneurship Consortium.

The days of Africa being far away are long gone. When the world’s population reaches 10 billion, Africa’s population will be 4.7 billion, according to the United Nations Demographic Division. This means that the political and economic center of the world will soon be shifted to Africa. The African continent is rich in natural resources and agricultural land. On top of that, it has a dynamic labor force, with over 70% of the population under the age of 25. At least one in two people has a cellular phone, and mobile banking is a pervasive part of their lives. The middle class also accounts for more than a third of the population, and their purchasing power has increased significantly. If you firmly grasp this situation, you will realize that Africa is the future of the world. Africa is the key to future markets and business expansion.

Kazunari Uchida

Former Professor of WASEDA Business School

After working for Japan Airlines, he joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he served as BCG Japan Representative from June 2000 to December 2004. Professor at Waseda University from 2006 to March 2022. He teaches competitive strategy and leadership theory at business schools, lectures at executive programs, and conducts corporate leadership training. He is the author of numerous books, including Hypothetical Thinking. His new book is Competitive Strategies for Innovation(2022). Graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Graduated from the Graduate School of Business Administration at Keio University (MBA).

I support ZENMONDO’s vision to change the world by committing to the Middle East and Africa. I believe that sustainability is important not only for developed countries but also for emerging countries.

Gilad Majerowicz

Partner at Herzog Fox & Ne’eman

A senior partner in the Commercial department of Herzog Fox & Ne’eman, Israel’s largest law firm and co-Head of the Asia Practice of the firm. His practice focuses on cross-border and domestic transactions involving technology and related commercial matters across a wide range of industries, including IT, internet, e-commerce, entertainment, telecommunications and financial services.
Proven track record in Israel and around the world in commercial-related transactions, including investment and M&A deals, strategic collaborations, IT projects, content and technology licensing, and e-commerce initiatives.

Extensive experience in advising and assisting Asian clients on their business activities in Israel, including Israel-related M&A deals, establishment of innovation centers and other legal matters related to business activities in Israel.

Prior experience as an in-house counsel in a New-York based telecommunication company and as an attorney in the New York office of a top international law firm.

A frequent speaker on the business and legal aspects of transactions with Israeli technology companies at seminars, business forums and conferences in Japan, Korea and other countries.

In the past few years we have witnessed how technology can connect people and nations, save lives and help securing the future within stormy and uncertain times. We are facing these days more challenges and risks on a global basis. The way to overcome these changes is by joining forces, sharing ideas, and spreading knowledge. I am honored to support the ZENMOMDO initiative and to be part of a vibrant ecosystem that enables scholars and professionals from different backgrounds and cultures to work together to solve regional and global challenges by sharing information and ideas, and creating a significant impact through technology and innovation.

Akihiko Kobayashi

Representative Director of ak Solution Advisory Co.

Joined Sanwa Bank (now Mitsubishi UFJ Bank) in 1975. After working at branches in the U.S. and U.K., he developed a strong sense for international business.

In the early 2000s, he entered the securities trade and served as President of Sanwa International Finance (now MUFG Securities Asia), President of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (now MUFG Securities America), and Senior Managing Executive Officer of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

In 2013, he became independent and launched ak Solution Advisory Co. He supports listed companies and start-ups as an external director and advisor.

ZENMONDO was established with the mission to help solve social issues in Japan, the Middle East, and Africa.
The Middle East and Africa may seem unfamiliar to many people in Japan, but the global situation has seen a surprisingly rapid influx of human and financial resources.
We hope that, through ZENMONDO – an open innovation bridge between Japan, the Middle East and Africa – we will see many more businesses be born from here.

Kazuo Nishitani

Executive Director, Japan Committee, International Chamber of Commerce

・He has worked for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) for many years and is responsible for international business promotion, promotion of private economic diplomacy, support for overseas business expansion and dispatch of overseas inspection missions.

・He is also currently the Executive Director of the International Chamber of Commerce Japan (ICC).

It is a great pleasure to be a part of the ZENMONDO team. I hope to provide you with timely information and expertise to help you solve your questions and challenges.

Masayuki Tamagawa

Specially Appointed Professor, Kogakuin University

・After joining the Ministry of Finance in 1981, he worked in the Securities Bureau, the Customs Bureau, the Financial Planning Bureau, the National Tax Agency (NTA), the Middle East and Africa Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of Japan to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He retired in 2016 after serving in numerous positions, including Deputy Director at International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Affairs Division Manager / Planning Division Manager at NTA, Sapporo National Tax Bureau Director, Director of Budget / Personnel / Management Systems Bureau at Asian Development Bank (ADB), the first Asian Representative Office Director at , African Development Bank, etc.

・He is currently a Specially Appointed professor at Kogakuin University, where he lectures on “Introduction to Japanese Economic Analysis” and “Basic Knowledge of Business Management” and is also the managing director of the school.

I hope that ZENMONDO will become a place for exchange and mutual empowerment of people who are involved in SDG and economic and social development projects in Africa and the Middle East.

Masanobu Taniguchi

Professor, Professional Graduate School of Global and Community Management, University of Fukui

・He worked for Mitsui & Co., Ltd. for many years, retiring in March 2019. During his tenure at the trading company, he experienced in sales role in the textile, consumer goods and healthcare sectors.

・He has lived in four countries (Singapore, Indonesia, Egypt and Malaysia), and during his time in Egypt he was the Vice Chairman and later Chairman of the Japanese Association in Cairo, where he experienced the social turmoil of the Arab Spring and the subsequent coup d’état in Cairo, including the ouster of the President.

・He is currently a professor at the Professional Graduate School of Global and Community Management, University of Fukui, where he is engaged in educational activities leveraging his experiences.

The Middle East and Africa is a region that is not well known due to lack of knowledge and information about Islam, but it has a lot of potential and is attracting attention as a region with a rapidly growing population. I would like to discuss with you how we can develop and expand our business in this region.

Susumu Tsubaki

AAIC Director, CEO

・As a Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), he has been involved in business strategy, M&A strategy, new business start-ups, and globalization projects in the high-tech, telecommunications, internet, media contents, and healthcare sectors. In 2006, he was appointed as President of a listed company. In 2008, he founded Asia Africa Investments and Consulting (AAIC), where he is currently the President and Representative Partner. In addition to providing consulting services in emerging markets, including new business development, M&A and partner search support, he established Japan’s first fund dedicated to Africa in 2014, and is currently managing a second fund. He is a professor at Business Breakthrough University and the Graduate School of Business Administration (MBA) at Business Breakthrough University.

The future of Japan lies abroad. Japan’s domestic market will begin to shrink drastically due to the rapid decline in population. Japan’s future lies overseas, particularly in the emerging economies of Asia, the Middle East and Africa where growth is expected.
The key to realizing this is to create a human resources that can thrive in these countries. Please join ZENMONDO to learn the necessary skills, know-how and experiences from ZENMONDO advisors, mentors, and team members. We look forward to working with you in the emerging countries!

Yasumitsu Himeno

Baryon Partners, CEO

・Prior to establishing Baryon Partners, where he acts as the CEO, he has nearly 30 years of experience in starting up new businesses for a wide range of companies, from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large corporations, including strategic planning, hiring, budgeting, financing, obtaining permits and approvals, and risk management. He has also worked in business investment and finance in emerging markets. He has also worked for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) at World Bank Group, Morgan Stanley (energy), Nissho Iwai (machinery and plant business) and other companies. He is currently establishing an investment company, Centrix Group Ltd. in Seychelles, investing in three businesses in Africa: Rwanda, Tanzania and Namibia.

I hope that we can help even more Japanese companies and entrepreneurs to be active in the Middle East and Africa. I take the utmost pleasure in supporting people, regardless of gender and age, who are willing to take on new challenges, by investing and sharing experiences. We know that even if a business is small at first, the experience of a success is invaluable. Let’s give it a go.