Summary of the Program

Program Conceptual Diagram




Short Stay Program (UG: June-July)

10 undergraduate students from Africa (WITS, BIUST, UB, ISPT, and UZ) visit Akita University to attend lectures and meet with representatives of companies and government agencies.

Resource Fieldwork Abroad (UG: October-November)

10 undergraduate students from Akita University and Kyushu University visit one of the Southern Africa Resource Consortium Universities to join around a month-long training session.

Selection of Students for the Master’s Program(UG: February)

10 undergraduate students (two from each university) will be selected to participate in the master’s program regardless of participation in the undergraduate program.

Virtual Travelling Class (M1: Spring-Summer)

Students take on-demand lectures provided by experts from each university, simulate travel to Akita University, Kyushu University, and Hokkaido University to foster a level of basic knowledge of resource development.

Collaborative Training of Humanities (M1: December/Hybrid)

Discussion exercise and liberal arts classes related to resource development such as resource economics, development, energy systems, and international relations, will be held at Akita University. Southern African participants join online. This course is to provide the theoretical basis of research development through comprehensive education in sustainable resource development.

Basics of Mining Informatics (On-Demand)

Both Japanese and African students will self-study the basics of resource informatics by using GOOCUS (LMS) (This is fundamental engineering informatics education for resource science students and is a core part of this program).

Japanese/English Language Training (M1: On-Demand)

Students whose mother tongue is Japanese study TOEIC while those whose mother tongue is non-Japanese study basic Japanese by themselves using GOOCUS (LMS).

Collaborative Training of DigiMine(M2: July)

Students acquire practical experience in the Smart Mining technique that is currently under development at the DigiMine Lab at the University of the Witwatersrand (approximately ten days). This will provide important context to the knowledge obtained through “Basics of Mining Informatics.”

Collaborative Research Project(M2: September)

All Japanese/African program participants are gathered at the Research Institute of Global Resources, Akita University and they are divided into some teams to work on tasks provided by the Consortium of Japan-Africa Resource Science Universities (two weeks). A team has to be mixed with Japanese and African participants in order to interact with each other and share problems they have faced. Reality-based tasks devised by supervisors and resources companies from both in Japan and African countries address how resource solutions can fulfill various social needs.

Program Certificate

Graduate students who participate in Smart Mining Special Program receive a master’s degree from their own institution and certificate of program completion.

Short Stay Program (African Students)

A total of 10 students will be selected from the five Southern Africa universities (two from each) to participate in “the one-month Short-Stay Program” offered at Akita University where they will exchange ideas with Japanese students while learning fundamental resource science. The curriculum motivates students through exposure to the highly-developed Japanese educational and technical systems and includes lectures supplemented by, visits to a recycle plant and, various resource companies, and government agencies. This provides an excellent opportunity to understand the importance of the resources from their home countries to both Japan and the world. However, the timing of international travel is flexible and be safely conducted in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. If required, the program will be conducted virtually with online lectures, company visits, and plant tours.

Resource Fieldwork Abroad (Japanese Students)

A total of 10 Japanese undergraduate students from Akita and Kyushu Universities will participate in the “Resource Fieldwork Abroad program” and will visit one of the Southern African resource consortium universities to attend an approximately month-long training session. (Japanese faculty members will provide education prior to leaving and accompany students on the trip.) The curriculum cultivates an early interest in resource development through lectures supplemented with practical field experience and interaction with resource development companies and government agencies both in Japan and Africa. The program provides the incredible opportunity to experience full-scale resource development ongoing in a resource-rich country. However, the timing of international travel is flexible and be safely conducted in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. If required, the program will be conducted virtually with online lectures, company visits, and field experience.

Purpose and Overview of the Exchanging Program

In resource-rich Southern Africa countries, advanced development of those underground resources is crucial for economic growth, with an urgent need for increased education and research ability to better equip personnel with the skills needed to balance effective resource development with environmental conversation. This coursework-based undergraduate and master’s program develops a base for multi-layered enterprise development. Information engineering (AI, IoT, Big Data etc.) is the core technology of “Industrial 4.0” and “Society 5.0” that is in turn based on both the traditional and current state-of-the-art in which Japan excels. This program will produce globally-minded individuals who possess the ability to practice the future of resource informatics (Smart Mining) in both Japan and Southern Africa.

Summary of Exchange Program

  • Collaborative undergraduate and master’s program for training global experts in resource development implementing (Smart Mining) through Information Engineering with a focus on the core technology for Society 5.0 (such as AI, IoT, and Big Data, among others)
  • Online-driven program with COVID-19 pandemic  taken into account

Nurturing Global Talent

Training of the global leaders skills listed below

  1. Practical skills based on advanced technical knowledge
  2. Ingenious technological development skills based on a solid foundation of Information Engineering to allow for a dimensional transition into the next stage of current resource development studies
  3. Design and management compatibilities with a panoramic view of the whole resource and environmental system
  4. Ability to negotiate between producer and consumer countries with a sense of balance that demonstrates a firm understanding of the positions of both parties