Sony helps Africa combat the spread of AIDS during 2010 FIFA World Cup™

11 Aug 2010

The “Public Viewing in Africa” partnership project between Sony Corporation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) brought 26 World Cup matches live to 24,000 people living in Cameroon and Ghana. The viewings launched an AIDS-awareness campaign aiming to bring health information to vulnerable communities in these countries, and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs are eight internationally-agreed targets which aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015.

Sony set up large screen visual equipment, including a 200 inch screen, projector, Blu-Ray disc player and waterproof speakers, and aired, for free, 26 live matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, at locations with limited access to television, while UNDP, JICA and local partners offered the viewers HIV and AIDS counseling and advocacy materials. Activities included drama performances, quizzes and song contests relating to HIV and AIDS prevention, as well as the free distribution of condoms.

Despite the widespread popularity of football across Cameroon and Ghana, low household TV penetration, at approximately 20 percent, and the lack of electricity in certain regions prevents many communities from watching their teams on TV.

In Cameroon, UNDP mobilized approximately 5,350 people to five venues in four regions, while in Ghana, JICA brought together 18,650 people at 18 venues across 15 regions. In addition, 1,800 people in Cameroon and 3,000 people in Ghana took HIV tests. In both instances, more than double the number of people expected participated.

During the screenings, “Join the Team!” footballs, made from environmentally conscious and durable material produced by Sony were also distributed.

As part of its efforts to harness sustainable energy sources, Sony also piloted in Ghana a combined solar power and lithium-ion storage battery system*, which provided enough electric power to screen more than two hours of football broadcasts for public viewing in the evening.

UNDP and JICA work with the private sector to accelerate progress towards the MDGs by 2015, by promoting inclusive growth, and sharing best practice on how businesses can be profitable while fighting poverty.

Under the theme “For the Next Generation”, the Sony Group is aiming to collaborate with external organizations to leverage the company’s strengths in meeting the needs of today’s society, while aiming to contribute to social sustainability and the development of the next generation. In recent years, Sony has also supported various activities in Africa with the aim of contributing to the MDGs.