Labour Market Information and Investment Environment in Africa

The Importance of Skills Development in Partnerships between Japanese Companies and African Development Partne続きを読む

SKY[Skills and Knowledge for Youth] ホーム Labour Market Information and Investment Environment in Africa

The Importance of Skills Development in Partnerships between Japanese Companies and African Development Partners

 

From August 28 to 30, the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII) was held in Yokohama. While Japanese companies are frequently expanding into Africa, TICAD VII is expected to further establish partnerships between Japanese companies and African countries. Africa is currently attracting attention from Japanese companies due to its abundant workforce and large market.

Ethiopia is expanding industrial parks focused on attracting foreign companies and has spurred overseas companies to venture into Ethiopia as a result of its abundant labor force and low labor costs. The ITOCHU Corporation has set out to support labor management and production management at textile factories in Africa. ITOCHU plans to set up a production base in Ethiopia from 2020 and will dispatch its employees and five Japanese experts to two factories in Tigre Province in northern Ethiopia. The company plans to export products to Japan as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) (Ohira, 2019).

Furthermore, Africa is attracting attention as an automobile market, and Toyota Tsusho is working with Denso and other car parts manufacturers in the Toyota Group to expand auto repair services in Africa. In the next three years, the company plans to expand its number of repair stores to approximately 60. By doing so, Toyota Tsusho is aiming to expand the market share in Africa by providing repair services for both new and used cars with the repair parts supplied by their partner companies (Nikkei Shimbun, 2019).

As Japanese companies expand into Africa, concerns have been raised regarding how they develop sustainable businesses. In Ethiopia’s garment industry, if productivity cannot be improved and quality cannot be guaranteed, it may become difficult to export to Japan, which has strict quality standards. In addition, regarding the expansion of auto repair services, it is important not only to expand the availability of auto parts but also to train local mechanics in order to expand repair services and put them into actual operation. Therefore, it is even more important to develop the skills of local people in order to continuously develop business in anticipation of business expansion in Africa.

 

(Yujiro Yamazaki)

References

Nikkei Shimbun (2019, August, 22). Toyota Tsusho and Denso develop Toyota repair shops in Africa. Nikkei Shimbun. Retrieved August 31, 2019, from https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO48871160S9A820C1916M00/
Ohira Y., (2019, August 19). Garment wars: Japan backs Ethiopia’s effort to build up exports. Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved August 31, 2019, from https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Garment-wars-Japan-backs-Ethiopia-s-effort-to-build-up-exports.