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2019/09/03

The Social Entrepreneurship in Uganda Supported by Kao Presents at Side Event of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7)

With the goal of realizing cleanliness and hygienic habits promoting health for people around the world as well as a society in which everyone can live in comfort, Kao Group began partnering with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)*1 in February 2019. Kao is providing funding to EcoSmart Uganda Ltd., a startup company founded by five young social entrepreneurs in Uganda with the aim of domestically producing sanitary napkins, to support this social entrepreneurship.

  • * 1 UN organization that partners with governments and non-governmental organizations to address population-related problems, mainly in developing countries. UNFPA strategically addresses global-scale problems that impact, and are impacted by, population, with a focus on the areas of population and development, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender equality. UNFPA is currently implementing a wide range of programs in more than 150 countries and areas, encompassing sexual and reproductive health, maternal health, poverty, gender equality, human rights, youth, HIV/AIDS, and emergency aid.

At an official side event symposium, titled Unleashing the Power of Women and Girls in Africa —Social Business and Social Entrepreneurship to Achieve Transformative Change (co-hosted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), City of Yokohama, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan), of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7)*2 held on August 28, Ms. Noel Aryanyijuka, CEO of EcoSmart Uganda Ltd. presented as a panelist.

  • * 2 TICAD stands for Tokyo International Conference on African Development. The government of Japan has been leading this conference since 1993, co-hosted by United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and African Union Commission (AUC). This year's TICAD was held on August 28-30, 2019 in Yokohama, Japan.

Ms. Aryanyijuka presenting at the symposium

In the symposium, following the key note speech by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance*3 , a lively panel discussion was held by four African entrepreneurs. Ms. Aryanyijuka explained the issues that women in Uganda currently face, in which they cannot afford to purchase sanitary napkins, and instead use old cloths or other substitutes, which sometimes result in severe infections. She said that all women should have access to menstrual hygiene management and be able to live in dignity as active members of society during their menstrual cycle by enabling EcoSmart to produce and sell low-cost sanitary napkins in Uganda.

  • * 3 A public-private partnership established in 2000 with the purpose of protecting the lives of children and people's health by improving the immunization rate in developing countries.

Kao invited Ms. Aryanyijuka to its Tochigi Plant where sanitary products are manufactured and Sanitary Products Research Laboratories on the day following the event (August 29). Kao gave her a tour of the manufacturing line for sanitary napkins and she exchanged views with its researchers on the concept of manufacturing, and so on.

Kao Group will promote its unique ESG activities on a global level for the wholehearted satisfaction and enrichment of people's lives worldwide and to contribute to social sustainability.

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