March 20, 2023
On February 22, Okayama University conferred an honorary doctorate on Her Royal Highness Princess Abze Djigma, a Mossi Princess from Burkina Faso and a direct descendant of Princess Yennenga, a famous warrior in the 12th century and the mother of the Mossi Kingdom.
President MAKINO Hirofumi handed the certificate to Her Highness, witnessed by the university faculty, staff, students, and other guests outside of the university.
Her Highness is a United Nations Expert and adviser with over 20 years of experience on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), international environmental issues, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), climate, and energy policy. Her Highness is also internationally recognized as a role model for empowering the bottom of the pyramid, recognizing the importance of the informal sector, and unleashing the potential of women and youth in developing countries. Therefore, Okayama University, as an only UNESCO Chair in Asia with the goal of promoting activities for the United Nations’ ESD, decided to award an honorary doctorate to Her Highness for her especially outstanding contribution to the advancement of science and culture. Her Highness is the ninth person and the first woman to whom Okayama University has awarded an honorary doctorate.
After the conferral ceremony, Her Highness attended the talk session with President Makino and Okayama University students. At the session with President, Her Highness said, “Education is the pillar of youth empowerment.” Then, President Makino introduced Her Highness that “Okayama University supports students in realizing their dreams by sending two students to One Young World every year.” At the following session with Okayama University students, students presented their future dream under the theme of “We have a dream,” and Her Highness encouraged them with a strong message.
In addition, Her Highness visited the Institute of Plant Science and Resources and had a courtesy call to the Governor of Okayama, the Superintendent of Okayama Prefectural Board of Education, the Mayor of Okayama City, the Secretary-General of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, and the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Burkina Faso Embassy during her stay in Okayama. Her Highness toured the facilities and actively discussed with African students at the Institute of Plant Science and Resources.
Okayama University will continue to contribute to improving well-being in the region and the entire planet by strengthening cooperation with Her Royal Highness Princess Abze Djigma.
[Inquiries regarding this matter]
International Planning Division, International Affairs Department