Helping Hands

Yamaha participates in TICAD VI Summit in Kenya

When you think ‘Yamaha’, what pops into your head? If I’m honest…Pianos and motorcycles. But probably not water, right?

The company has a much more extensive product line—and list of initiatives—than those two trademark items. It also has a conscious outreach program that has been internationally influential well outside its Japan roots for more than 4 decades.

Yamaha’s motor division (its chief manufacturing sector since the company’s inception in 1955) participated in the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi, Kenya August 27-28. The Iwata, Japan-based company focused its efforts on delivering products and services that could help improve the livelihood and communities of its African customers.

Participants to the TICAD-VI Ministerial Preparatory Meeting—United Nations photo

Participants to the TICAD-VI Ministerial Preparatory Meeting—United Nations photo

A primary feature of Yamaha’s exhibition was its compact water purification system, which differentiates itself from others by not requiring a large electric supply. It also functions without coagulant chemicals, and Yamaha claims it is easily deployable—as well as easily maintained—a popular characteristic with local African residents because it enables the average person to operate the water supply stations by themselves.

Motorcycles providing practical and efficient transportation for vaccines and other items helping to improve African health and hygiene were also demonstrated at the fair, which was hosted by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Japan External Trade Organization.

Yamaha Motor has been expanding in the African market since its introduction of outboard motors and other marine products in the 1970s. Currently, Yamaha Motor operates in 52 African countries through partnerships with local distributors. The company is expanding business by promoting local solutions, including sales and service for motorcycles, outboard motors, boats, generators and compact water-purification systems.

At the TICAD VI event, President and CEO Hiroyuki Yanagi gave a speech on the topic of economic reform through diversification and industrialization. He emphasized that Yamaha Motor has been contributing to the African fishery industry since the 1970s by equipping fishing boats with outboard motors and carrying out local initiatives such as producing fiberglass fishing boats suited to African environments, hiring local employees and developing spare parts supply networks across the continent.

“Yamaha is proud to deliver products and services that help improve the lives of our African customers. We will strive to expand our business here in collaboration with the people of Africa,” Yanagi stated.

TICAD is an international summit focused on Africa’s development. It has been hosted jointly by the Government of Japan, the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the World Bank since 1993. The 2016 summit was the first ever to be held on the African continent in the program’s 20-year history.

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