Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) announced that it has donated solar power generating systems to four secondary schools in Tanzania and three primary schools in Uganda. Donation ceremonies were held at the schools in Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Bushenyi (Uganda), in which the company conveyed hopes for the solar systems to help improve the schools’ infrastructure and contribute to the students’ educational development.
The installations are part of larger donation projects that have been ongoing since 2009, in which Kyocera has been providing solar power generating systems to schools in Tanzania and Uganda that have no access to the electricity grid. The five-year projects consist of 600-watt solar power generating systems for 35 schools in total, each with storage batteries as well as basic equipment such as lamps, TV sets and radios — lighting up the classrooms and diversifying learning activities for the students. Furthermore, the solar systems are occasionally used as an electricity source for the people of the community to charge their mobile devices. With additional installations at seven schools in the last fiscal year, donations have already been made to a total of 28 schools, with seven more to follow by March 2014.
During the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in Japan, the Japanese Government pledged 3.2 trillion yen of public and private assistance to Africa over the next five years and stressed the importance of private sector investment. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pointed out that the key to meet the needs of countries in Africa lies in human capacity development. Kyocera believes in the great possibilities of the young generation in Africa and hopes that its donations in Tanzania and Uganda will help further the education of students who carry the future of the countries on their shoulders.
To directly convey these hopes, donation ceremonies were held in which a company representative interacted with the teachers and students. In Tanzania, the ceremonies were held on June 7 at two representative schools in Kilimanjaro: Vumari Secondary School also attended by His Excellency Mr. Masaki Okada, Japanese Ambassador to Tanzania, and Mabilioni Secondary School. They were warmly welcomed with music and dances by the students, their parents and other people from the community. Donations in the last fiscal year also included Kirangare and Tae Secondary Schools.
In Uganda, the ceremonies took place on June 11 at all three schools in Bushenyi: Nyakarama Boarding Primary School, Ryakasinga Model Primary Boarding School, and Rweigaaga Day & Boarding Primary School, with the attendance of Mr. Yukihisa Nakano, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Uganda at the first two schools.
Kyocera representative Youichi Higashi, Manager of the Business Planning Department in the Corporate Solar Energy Group, stated, “I was deeply touched to receive handshakes from many students expressing gratitude. The value of electricity is difficult to understand in countries where power access is always available.” In this digital era, electricity is ever more important for people living in rural regions of Tanzania and Uganda to keep up with the development in urban areas.
Kyocera started research into solar energy in 1975 when then-president Kazuo Inamori first recognized the long-term potential for solar technology to contribute to global energy demand. Shortly after, in the early 1980s, the company began providing solar power systems to regions without electricity in Pakistan, China and Nepal. Kyocera remains strongly committed to its business philosophy of utilizing solar energy for the protection of the environment and the improvement of people’s lives.