Awarding Ceremony of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for FY 2023

Conferment of the award (Mr. Ruffo on the left)
Conferment of the award (Mr. Mawalla on the left)
 On 30 October and 1 November, the Awarding Ceremony of the Foreign Minister's Commendation for FY 2023 was held at the Ambassador's residence. This year there are two Tanzanian recipients: Mr Christopher Kilanga Ruffo, a botanist, and Mr Dudley Gabriel Mawalla, the first President of the Judo Association of Tanzania.

 Mr. Ruffo received the commendation in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of academic exchange between Japan and Tanzania through botany. As Tanzania's leading expert in plant taxonomy, he has been involved in academic exchanges for more than 30 years, including identifying plants for Japanese researchers visiting Tanzania. The awarding ceremony was attended by Mr. Ruffo's family and former colleagues. Dr. ITANI Juichi of Kyoto University gave a congratulatory speech, and Dr. YATSUKA Haruna of Tsuda University and Dr. SAKAMOTO Kimiko of Utsunomiya University sent video letters from Japan.
 Mr. Mawalla received the commendation in recognition of his contribution to promotion of Japanese culture such as Judo and Karate in Tanzania. Having been introduced to Judo and Karate as a child, Mr. Mawalla studied and gained his expertise in Judo from some Japanese masters while studying in Italy, and upon his return to Tanzania he laid the foundations for the spread of Japanese martial arts in the country by establishing the Tanzanian Martial Arts Association (later the Judo Association of Tanzania and Karate Association of Tanzania) and training many students. In addition to Mawalla's family and friends, the ceremony was also attended by current members of the Judo Association of Tanzania and the Italian Ambassador to Tanzania, making it a memorable day for Tanzanian martial artists.

 The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields, in order to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries and areas. The Commendations also aim to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese public for the activities of the recipients.
Individual and group recipients of this year's commendations (Ministry of Foreign Affairs website):
 Tanzania now has a total of four individual recipients, following Dr. Edwin Paul Mhede, Commissioner General, Tanzanian Revenue Authority (TRA), and Dr. Said Ahmed Mohamed, former professor of Osaka University of Foreign Study (Present Osaka University).
Speech by Mr. Ruffo
Speech by Mr. Mawalla
Group photo (Mr. Ruffo)
Group photo (Mr. Mawalla)