Kenjin from Austria – Dr. Zerbo receives Letter of Appointment to Ashinaga’s Kenjin-Tatsujin Council

From left: Mr. Taketoshi, Mr. Fujimura, Dr. Zerbo, Mr. Ozawa


Vienna, Austria

April 26, 2014

Dr. Lassina Zerbo was appointed as a member of “Kenjin-Tatsujin Council” (Eminent Persons and Experts Council) at the Ambassadors residence of Mr. Toshiro Ozawa (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna). Mr. Osamu Fujimura, Vice President of ASHINAGA and Chief Cabinet Secretary to former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, presented Dr. Zerbo with the Letter of Appointment. Mr. Ozawa and Ambassador of Japan in Austria, Mr. Makoto Taketoshi, also attended the event.

Dr. Zerbo is from Burkina Faso in Africa. After graduating from University of Paris VI with a doctorate in geophysics, Dr. Zerbo served as the executive manager in two major mining companies. Later, he joined CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization). In the summer of 2013, he assumed the position of Executive Secretary of CTBTO and is the third person to hold that position. Dr. Zerbo is a national hero in Burkina Faso.


Mr. Fujimura explained to Dr. Zerbo about the “Educational Support for African Children Who Have Lost Parents” iniative and the goal of providing orphans in Africa with an education rather than just money or goods. Dr. Zerbo replied, “I completely agree with you. I would like to let children in Africa know that like me, they can gain doctor’s degree from science field and still make a deep contribution to improving the world. Education is critical for children’s futures. I will devote all my energies to this project.”

Although Japan and Burkina Faso are very different countries, the two nations share a similar outlook on education being the “first seed to plant for growing next 100 years.” The Council is honored to welcome yet another dynamic member.

Message from CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo to ASHINAGA

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I would like to thank Mr. Osamu Fujimura, Vice President of Ashinaga, for the trust they have placed in me by making me a member of the distinct Kenjin-Tatsujin Council of ASHINAGA. It is indeed an honor.

Growing up in Africa myself, I know it is difficult enough to succeed in life. For orphans, succeeding in life is often only possible with the help of organizations like ASHINAGA.

Through its program “Africa: 100-Year Vision”, ASHINAGA has adopted the best possible approach to helping – not through money or goods – but through education. Only education can empower the young to help themselves and to shape the future of their own countries.

I also commend ASHINAGA for responding to one of the worst natural disasters in Japan’s history by caring for the orphans left behind by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The shockwaves from the Tohoku earthquake were so powerful that they were picked up by the global network of stations operated by the CTBTO to detect nuclear testing thousands of miles away from Japan; the stations also detected radioactivity from the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear power plant accident.

Through education and hard work, everything is possible.  It is my hope that my own life – journey may serve as an inspiration to African children and orphans throughout the world.

Ashinaga Kyoto Internship Program press conference