Vienna, 15 April 2014: United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and chief executive of the initiative, Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, was today appointed member of the Ashinaga 100 Year Vision “Kenjin” and “Tatsujin” Council by Mr. Osamu Fujimura, Vice- President of Ashinaga and the last Chief Cabinet Secretary of then prime minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan.

The “Kenjin” and “Tatsujin” Council of Ashinaga is an organization known for bringing together Eminent Persons and Experts from the global community. Ashinaga started over 40 years ago in Japan, reaching its current form in April 1993 under its original founder and current President, Yoshiomi Tamai.

Named for the 1912 American novel, Daddy-Long-Legs, Ashinaga focuses on orphaned children and aims at educating and nurturing future leaders who will contribute to society via caring attitudes, open minds, the energy to act, and an international perspective. With the appointment of CEO Kandeh Yumkella to the Eminent Persons and Experts Council, the Ashinaga initiative pays tribute to its global perspective, in which the theme of 'Sustainable Energy for All' is recognized as critical for the prosperity of future generations.

The goal of the project is to send one gifted orphaned student selected from each of the 49 Sub-Saharan countries to the top universities in the world every year in the hope that they may one day become leaders in their respective countries. Ultimately, this is in keeping with the project’s goal of raising awareness of Ashinaga’s larger goal of helping to eradicate poverty in Africa. Ashinaga is working on the establishment of a liaison office in Paris Europe, to raise funds for the implementation of “The 100-year vision of educational support for children in Africa.”, facilitating the Council meetings and also for engaging with the Ashinaga selected children studying in Europe.

Dr. Kandeh Yumkella was handed his letter of appointment in Vienna today by Mr. Osamu Fujimura, Vice-President of Ashinaga, in the presence of Ambassador Mr. Toshiro Ozawa, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna and Ambassador Mr. Makoto Taketoshi, Embassy of Japan in Vienna.