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.
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.
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.
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.