UNDP to partner with Sony and JICA in Cameroon and Ghana during FIFA World Cup

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Feature story

UNDP to partner with Sony and JICA in Cameroon and Ghana during FIFA World Cup

30 March 2010

A version of this story was first published at undp.org

Group photo of JICA, SONY and UNDP directors with the Ambassadors of Ghana and Cameroon in Japan

Sony Corporation is partnering with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to bring health information, with a special focus on HIV, to vulnerable communities in Cameroon and Ghana.

This summer, Sony will set up large screens to live broadcast, for free, approximately 20 FIFA World Cup matches, allowing people in areas where TVs are scarce. Throughout the games, UNDP, JICA and local partners will also be offering viewers HIV counselling and advocacy material as part of their AIDS-awareness campaign called “Public Viewing in Africa”. Both countries’ national football teams will be participating in the World Cup, to be held in South Africa this June and July.

Although football is the most popular and closely followed sport in Cameroon and Ghana, the countries are characterised by low rates of household TV penetration (22 percent in Cameroon, and 21 percent in Ghana) with many people unable to watch football matches on TV and support their home country.

By conducting the joint project during the World Cup, one of the biggest sporting event of the year, the partners aim to attract some 13,000 participants and estimate to provide HIV testing and counselling to around 1,800 recipients.

I am in full support of this framework that provides us with tools for a more professional approach in our work with the vulnerable groups in the community.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark

“The World Cup brings people together, both as teams, and as nations cheering on their players. The same can be true for the Millennium Development Goals,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “There can be no spectators in the fight against poverty. Everyone has a role to play in scoring the 8 Millennium Development Goals, which if reached would improve the quality of life for many hundreds of millions of people across developing countries.”

Stopping the rise of AIDS, malaria and other diseases is one of eight key Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) UN member nations are striving to achieve within the next five years. The other goals are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to establish universal primary education; to promote gender equality; to reduce child mortality; to improve maternal health; to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development.

“I am delighted that Sony can contribute to the prevention of HIV through our partnership with JICA and UNDP, while also delivering great football experiences to the people of Cameroon and Ghana through our cutting-edge technology and sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” said Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation.

JICA and Sony conducted a similar joint project in Ghana in July 2009, and it was deemed a great success. Some 9,000 people gathered in seven cities to watch Sony's high-definition broadcasts of football matches, around three times the typical attendance. About 1,100 young people and adults visited the HIV testing sites and took the test and received counselling —again about three times as many people as usual.