Multilateral Agreements

Activities and Projects

In addition to bilateral research diplomacy between Japan and South Africa, several multilateral frameworks have been developed. These frameworks promote collaboration and provide research opportunities across Africa and the rest of the developing world.  

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is Japan’s development assistance implementation agency. JICA facilitates human resource development support and collaboration between Japan and Africa.  


The Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP), is an intergovernmental project initiated by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) to promote STI cooperation. SICORP has a dual function to solve pressing global challenges while bolstering Japan’s scientific and technological innovation. 

SICORP was preceded by SICP (Strategic International Research Cooperative Program), which entailed extensive research cooperation in the field of life sciences in South Africa. Currently, there are no bilateral arrangements between South Africa and Japan under SICORP (though other agreements exist). SICORP is an overseeing institution of the AJ-CORE multilateral research framework in Africa, of which South Africa is a partner. 

Africa-Japan Collaborative Research (AJ-CORE)

The AJ-CORE Programme strengthens bilateral relations between Japan and South Africa and multilateral relations between these two countries and the other 17 participating African countries. All 19 program members enjoy increased research impact, the discovery of new developmental paths, and contribution to STI, sustainability, and the SDGs. 

AJ-CORE is a multilateral research framework promoting research mobility. Research teams comprise members from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), SA’s National Research Foundation (NRF), and members from another African country. Members of every task force operate on an equal-partnership basis. Other stakeholders, enterprises, and NGOs are encouraged to participate. 

Call Information

Application Deadline (2024)30 August 2024
Nationalities of Funding OrganisationsJapan, South Africa, and other African countries
Support PeriodMax 3 years
Support Amount18,000,000 JPY or about 2,400,000 ZAR total
Number of Projects FundedAbout 5 projects will receive funding

Africa Business Education (ABE) Initiative

The ABE initiative was established in 2013 during the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V). Directed at youth development in Africa, the ABE initiative was a five-year plan dedicated to mobilizing African youths to complete a master’s degree followed by an internship at Japanese universities and enterprises.

The ABE Initiative 3.0 was announced at TICAD VII in Yokohama (2019). This time, the initiative aims to mobilize over 3,000 African youths for human development and training. The objectives are to uplift and upskill young Africans while maintaining a good relationship with Japanese society and businesses. Applications are available to citizens from any of the 54 African countries.


SATREPS stands for the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development. It is a Japanese governmental programme promoting multilateral research between Japan and developing countries to resolve global issues. The JST, the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), and JICA facilitate the programme.