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JICA and Sony to Jointly Host Public Viewing in Côte d'Ivoire during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™

The Japan International Cooperation Agency ("JICA") and Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced that they will jointly host public viewing events in Côte d'Ivoire during the 2014 FIFA World CupTM, at which Côte d'Ivoire will be an Africa representative. Côte d'Ivoire is one of the world’s leading football nations, and is set to face Japan in the countries’ opening match of the 2014 FIFA World CupTM, which kicked off on June 12th.

Yokota, Managing Director of Sony & Yonezaki of JICA at the Press Conference (Photo: Business Wire)

Yokota, Managing Director of Sony & Yonezaki of JICA at the Press Conference (Photo: Business Wire)

During the 2014 FIFA World CupTM, 12 public viewing events are planned to be held among local communities in Abidjan (14th – 19th June), Yamoussoukro (21st – 24th June), and Bouake (26th – 30th June), and are expected to attract approximately 8,000 participants. JICA and Sony will be harnessing their respective expertise and working together to deliver an unforgettable experience to the people of Côte d'Ivoire of embracing the shared passion of football as one.

JICA believes that football has the power to uplift and give hope to the people of Côte d'Ivoire, and that football has always been the source of hope that enables people to envisage peace and reintegration. In December 2005, when Côte d'Ivoire secured a place in the FIFA World Cup of the following year; the players sat down at the pitch and appealed for peace towards their fellow nationals. In 2011, at the end of the crisis, the Government of Côte d'Ivoire established the “Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” to which the Ivorian football superstar Didier Drogba was invited as a member. JICA supports this effort of “social cohesion” by assisting the restoration of public trust at the community level and the integration of the country's division between the North and the South.

Sony has been engaging in various efforts around the world to support children and communities facing social issues such as poverty and conflict, together with partners such as international organizations and NGOs. Furthermore, from a business perspective, Africa is a region of growing importance, where delivering enjoyment through football in order to enhance Sony's presence and engage with local communities is also a key marketing initiative.

This series of free, outdoor public viewing events will be held within communities including those without access to electricity and rarely have the opportunity to enjoy television due to the lack of infrastructure, and are intended to mainly attract children and young people. At the venues, audio and video equipment provided by Sony will be used to project football matches in hi-definition on 200-inch screens.

With the support of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)*1, of which Sony is an Official Partner, the public viewings will show live or recorded Côte d'Ivoire matches from this year's FIFA World CupTM as well as major Côte d'Ivoire team games from the past. Sony will also be providing its own power supply system to deliver power to areas without electricity, leveraging its olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate rechargeable batteries and control technology for energy storage module systems to power the screenings. Sony’s audio and video equipment such as its SHAKE Home Audio system – developed with inputs from African consumers and perfect for outdoor events – will also be used to enhance the screenings*2, while Sony engineers will provide on-site technical support.

In the public viewing events, JICA, as a part of its technical cooperation projects, will organize a series of programs such as quizzes and plays, aiming to promote social cohesion, in which the local youths and children, the leaders of the next generation, will play the lead roles. Moreover, friendly matches between the “mixed” teams combining members across different social groups are also to be arranged in order to re-build the bond between them.

For Sony, a company committed to inspiring and fulfilling the curiosity of people around the world, these public viewing events are an opportunity to enhance its brand recognition, showcase its latest products such as the 4K TV line-up and innovative audio systems to generate interest in its products among local communities, while at the same time cultivating the dreams and passion of the people of Côte d'Ivoire by delivering their national team's performances to communities across the country. Sony will also be conducting workshops for children to demonstrate how electricity is created. On the other hand, JICA intends to accelerate its effort in supporting the country's social cohesion and the rebuilding of the communities which experienced conflicts and division, with the help of Sony's high-skill technology and the uplifting power that football can bring to the people.

About Sony Middle East and Africa

Sony Middle East and Africa FZE is a 100% subsidiary of Sony Corporation and is the regional headquarters for the Middle East and Africa regions. The company is engaged in the business of Sony Consumer Electronics, Data media, Recording Media and Energy (Batteries and Storage media), Mobile Electronics (Car Audio) and Computer Entertainment (PlayStation) products in more than 50 countries in the region.

Apart from stock operations in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Establishment in Dubai, Sony leads the execution of various logistics, sales, marketing, advertising and customer services activities through its business partners and a network of 483 accredited third party service centres in the region.

For more information on Sony’s products and services in the Middle East and Africa region, please visit www.sony-mea.com

*Source: ME NewsWire

1 Sony is an Official FIFA Partner from 2007 to 2014.

2 The public viewing system incorporates various Sony products, including the VPL-FHZ55 video projector, AWS-750 live production solution, SHAKE Home Audio system, VAIO® Pro 13 personal computer, DWZ-M70 digital wireless vocal/speech set and SRG-300HW pan/tilt/zoom camera.

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