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Tanzania: Panasonic donates 1,000 Solar LED Lanterns to UNDP Millennium Village Project in Mbola

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Panasonic has donated 1,000 Solar LED Lanterns the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tanzania, with a ceremony to mark the donation held at UNDP Tanzania on April 12. Panasonic was represented at the ceremony by Managing Director Yoshiyuki Sako of Panasonic Energy Tanzania Co., Ltd. (PECTZ), with various local UNDP personnel also present. The ceremony had originally been scheduled for March 17, but was postponed in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. A simple ceremony has been held now so that the Solar LED Lanterns, which have now arrived in Tanzania, can be used as quickly as possible. A message from General Manager Michiko Ogawa of the Corporate Citizenship Group was read out at the event, in which she expressed her appreciation to UNDP Tanzania for the sympathy and encouragement the organization had offered following the earthquake. The message also outlined Panasonic's policies, as the company aims to become the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the electronics industry by 2018, to help solve the social issue of limited electrical infrastructure in African and other developing nations, and to contribute to the achievement of the UN's millennium development objectives.

Panasonic will promote such efforts both through its business activities and through additional corporate citizenship activities. Meanwhile, a UNDP representative expressed his thanks for the donation of the Solar LED Lanterns, saying that they will greatly improve the lifestyles of the people of the Mbola Millennium Village and demonstrate to them the great benefits of electric lighting. The Solar LED Lanterns donated will be sold at a low price by local savings and loans associations to people living without electrical infrastructure in the Mbola Millennium Village Project, located in the suburbs of Tabora City in inland Tanzania and under the administration of the UNDP and other such organizations. It is hoped that these Lanterns will greatly improve the quality of life of people living in the Mbola Millennium Village, with children able to study and adults able to pursue side jobs after dark.

The Corporate Citizenship Group will continue to work with international institutions and other partners toward the solution of social issues in Africa and other emerging nations as part of Panasonic's global corporate citizenship activities.