Toyota Tsusho : Social Venture Development Fund for Africa Invests in Leather Goods Sewing Business in Ethiopia

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06/29/2015 | 04:22am US/Eastern

Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“Toyota Tsusho”) has decided to invest 3 million US dollars into a large scale agricultural project in Zambia and 300,000 US dollars into a leather goods sewing business in Ethiopia, via Toyota Tsusho CSV Africa Pte. Ltd. (“CSV Africa”), which it established in 2014.

CSV Africa’s main aim is to support businesses that contribute to resolving challenges faced by regional communities. It does this through the Social Venture Development Fund, which supports the launch of businesses whose main aim is the creation of employment opportunities and the support for economic independence for local residents in Africa. To date, surveys have been conducted mainly in eastern Africa, in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Following careful evaluation of proposals, these two projects were selected.

– Investment Project No. 1: Zambia Agricultural Business

The project will conduct large-scale agricultural business through the establishment of agricultural corporation Katonga Farm Ltd. (“Katonga Farm”) in cooperation with Amatheon Agri Zambia Ltd. (“AAZ”), a subsidiary of Amatheon Agri Holdings (“Amatheon”), a company that conducts agri-business mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. It will be based in Mumbwa District, Central State, Zambia, where AAZ has already developed agricultural business. The project includes clearing and cultivating 2,700 ha of unutilized land, construction of irrigation facilities and transportation of harvested produce, providing employment for locals. The company plans to grow wheat and corn, ingredients for staple foods on the farm. In addition, it will give guidance in agriculture to ordinary farmers in the surrounding region and provide sales assistance for them. It will also work proactively with AAZ to develop the local community.

– Investment Project No. 2: Leather Goods Sewing Business in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, the company will invest in Hiroki Addis Manufacturing S.C., which operates a leather goods sewing workshop. It will thereby help to backup the leather business, a key industry in Ethiopia, create employment opportunities and help to improve income levels. This investment will assist enhancement of equipment at the sewing workshop. provide support for acquisition of sewing skills and also support organizational management. In particular, support will be provided for acquisition of technical skills by Japanese sewing experts. By providing opportunities for increased income, the hope is to assist their financial independence. Products produced by the company are expected to be sold at stores in Japan. This is intended to help improve the quality and image of leather goods produced in Ethiopia and also create an opportunity to acquire foreign currency.

Moving forward, through five years of support, CSV Africa hopes to increase the value of both businesses and also contribute to the development of Zambian and Ethiopian societies.

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