[6th November 2013]


Seated : (L-R) Prof. Rikiya Abe, University of Tokyo, Ms. Rieko Suzuki Kitaoka, Chair -MPJ, His Excellecy Mr. Benson Ogutu- Ambassador, Kenya Embassy,
Standing (L-R): Mr. Satoshi Akita, CEO of Digital Grid Solutions Inc.; Ms. Yuko Yamawaki, Kenya Embassy; Mr. Masayoshi Ito, MPJ

On October 23, 2013 the Chair of Millennium Promise Japan (MPJ); Ms. Rieko Suzuki Kitaoka, hosted a luncheon for Ambassador Benson Ogutu and other dignitaries to discuss the organization's ongoing projects and future plans in Africa.

Millennium Promise Japan (MPJ) supports community development projects in Africa, under the umbrella of the Millennium Village Project (MVP) with currently 80 Millennium Villages in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. The Millennium Village Projects support interventions which facilitate poverty reduction; improve quality of life, levels of education and gender equality. Overall, the MVP's model is to promote self sustenance economic growth amongst low income communities.

In Japan, MPJ works in areas of human security, foreign diplomacy and the furthering of international peace to promote understanding of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) among the Japanese people. MPJ also supports cultural exchange programs, with a view of encouraging mutual economic development and understanding."
In Kenya, the first Millennium Village was started in Sauri and Dertu in August 2004 and has since seen remarkable results in terms of improving the communities' crop production both for food and sale in nearby markets.

During the occasion, the Ambassador also met Professor Rikiya Abe and Mr. Satoshi Akita of Digital Grid Solution Inc. The company was established as a joint venture with the University of Tokyo with an aim of generating and delivering "micro-energy" to the people, who are off-grid in rural areas. The company has already delivered a prototype version and is currently implementing operational test in selected rural areas in the country.

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