East Africa is set to act as the focal point for the newly integrated CFAO Group Africa following a decision by its parent company Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) to integrate its operations in Africa under the CFAO Group.
The integration process which kicked off in December last year has created a conglomeration of 140 companies across 36 nations and a presence in 53 of the 54 African countries. The newly integrated CFAO Group has over 15,000 employees with interests in the automotive sector, healthcare, energy, infrastructure development, agriculture, manufacturing, technology and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs).
To align with customer needs in the continent, CFAO Africa has been structured into 4 main business domains namely; Mobility, Healthcare, Consumer Goods as well as Technology & Energy. According to CFAO Group Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Bielle, the Group has 15 production facilities across the continent and intends to increase its local manufacturing, assembly and value addition capacity.
“We offer leading brands in the world solutions for Africa not only for imports but also for local production for wholesale and retail. We want to control as much as we can the value chain from the plant to the final customer, this is our business model as CFAO” Mr. Bielle added. “Every year we invest over 100 million Euros in different countries and these investments are increasing as we invest more in new production units with a bigger CAPEX. We are also investing in retail which has more significant CAPEX and we expect this to continue growing”
TTC Chairman Jun Karube reiterated the group commitment to continue expanding its investment on the continent as the economy grows.
“Africa is so important to us that we created a new division to coordinate our business on the continent. We serve other regions through global product divisions, but for Africa created the Africa Division dedicated to handling all our products and services.” Mr. Karube said.
In Kenya, the CFAO Group will operate 8 main companies namely; Toyota Kenya, DT Dobie, Laborex Kenya, Tyre Distributors Africa, Toyota Tsusho Fertilizer Africa, Tsusho Capital, Toyota Tsusho Auto Mart Kenya and Toyota Tsusho East Africa. According to CFAO Group Kenya Country delegate and board member Amb. Dennis Awori, CFAO will seek to expand its investment portfolio across the region though strategic partnerships and investment in infrastructure.
“We have varied interests across East Africa ranging from manufacturing and assembly to the deployment of technological solutions in healthcare, traffic management and infrastructure development. We are solution oriented and seek to rollout key interventions across various sectors aimed at generating jobs and creating wealth through both skills and technology transfer.” Amb. Awori added.
Industrialization Principal Secretary Betty Maina challenged the private sector to focus on local manufacturing with the government pledging its support through policy interventions under the Big 4 agenda.
“The ministry has a proposed automotive policy that we hope to enact before the end of this year, this policy will be a catalyst for further development of the automotive assembly sector and attract more investors such as CFAO to mount and expand their automotive assembly in the country.” The PS added.