UNIDO ITPO Tokyo organized an online seminar on “ETHIOPIA COFFEE SEMINAR: Exploring Business Opportunities for Japanese Companies” on April 25, 2023. Panelists from Ethiopian government agencies and private companies involved in the coffee industry spoke at the seminar which 152 participants attended.
After opening remarks by Ms. Fumio Adachi, Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, Dr. Adugna Debella, Director General of the Ethiopia Federal Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA), delivered a video message, saying that “Japan is one of the largest importers of Ethiopian coffee. In order to further increase exports in the international market, we would like to deepen our partnership with UNIDO and Japanese companies that have various technologies”.
Mr. Kasahun Geleta, Chief Executive, Market Development and Promotion of the ECTA, introduced Ethiopia’s coffee industry, saying that “Ethiopia is the world’s fifth largest coffee producer, accounting for more than 40% of coffee production on the African continent“, and as the reasons for this he highlighted the high quality, wide variety, and high branding image of the Ethiopian coffee. He also reported on the current situation in which the deregulation of export restrictions on the coffee industry has led to an increase in direct imports from small farmers, thus stimulating coffee businesses.
Three private companies dealing with Ethiopian coffee then gave presentations respectively. Mr. Minilik Habtu, General Manager, Typica Specialty Coffee Exporter (Typica Coffee), a coffee roasting and green bean export company, emphasized that “it is important to add value to coffee”, as high-quality specialty coffee accounts for about 15% of Ethiopia’s coffee exports and the number of roasters has increased in recent years. Ms. Ansha Yassin Sulieman first introduced her initiatives including Ethiopian coffee promotion, support for export procedures, as well as the Coffee Cupping Lab. She also stated that “over the past six years, we have cooperated with more than 5,000 farmers, and implemented over 20 projects for capacity building, harvesting know-how, and marketing.”
Mr. Shigekazu Yamawaki, Heleph Coffee (Ethiopia) in Asia and Oceania, Heleph Coffee Exporter, which specializes in specialty coffee and exports to Japan, said “In Ethiopia, Japanese people and Japanese technology are highly recognized. If you consider not only tangible elements but also the intangible elements such as after-sales services, business opportunities will further expand.”
Mr. Fitsum Bekere Ligdi, National Technical Advisor, UNIDO, then introduced the technical cooperation project “Upgrading the Ethiopian Coffee Value Chain through Public-Private Partnership”. Mr. Tadesse Segni, Advisor, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, also introduced the UNIDO’s support in Ethioia, and stated that “If you are considering business expansion into Ethiopia, please contact us”.
During the Q&A session that followed, the panelists answered many questions from the participants and a lively exchange of opinions took place. In response to the question, “What kind of technology does Ethiopia need?”, Mr. Fitsum Bekere Ligdi responded that “One of the main reasons for the decline in coffee quality is the difficulty of green bean sorting. So, there will be a demand for technology that can sort green beans strictly.” Additionally, Ms. Ansha Yassin Sulieman stated that “Knowledge is the first step in quality control. Small-scale farmers must acquire the right knowledge about green bean sorting.”
UNIDO ITPO Tokyo will continue to support Japanese companies’ investment and technology transfer to Ethiopia through related programmes including the Africa Advisor programme.
UNIDO technical cooperation project “Upgrading the Ethiopian Coffee Value Chain through Public-Private Partnership” (Video)
Tuesday, 25 April 2023
16:00-17:30 (JST) / 10:00-11:30 (EAT)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Investment and Technology Promotion Office, Tokyo (ITPO Tokyo)
English – Japanese (Simultaneous interpretation)
16:00 Opening Remarks
Ms. Fumio Adachi, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
16:05 Keynote Address by Ethiopia Federal Coffee and Tea Authority
Dr. Adugna Debella, Director General
Mr. Kasahun Geleta, Chief Executive, Market Development and Promotion
16:25 Business Opportunities
Mr. Minilik Habtu, General Manager, Typica Specialty Coffee Exporter (Typica Coffee)
(Former president of Ethiopia Coffee Roasters Association)
Ms. Ansha Yassin Sulieman, Founder and Managing Director, Co Qua Trading PLC
16:45 Business Opportunities for Japanese Companies
Mr. Shigekazu Yamawaki, Heleph Coffee (Ethiopia) in Asia and Oceania, Heleph Coffee Exporter
Mr. Tsegab Ayele, General Manager, Heleph Coffee Exporter
17:00 UNIDO’s Technical Cooperation Project
Improving the Sustainability and Inclusiveness of the Ethiopian Coffee Value Chain through Private and Public Partnership
Mr. Fitsum Bekere Ligdi, National Technical Advisor, UNIDO
17:10 UNIDO ITPO Tokyo’s Support for Japanese Companies
Mr. Tadesse Segni, Advisor, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
- Mr. Kasahun Geleta, Chief Executive, Market Development and Promotion
- Mr. Minilik Habtu, General Manager, Typica Specialty Coffee Exporter (Typica Coffee)
- Ms. Ansha Yassin Sulieman, Founder and Managing Director, Co Qua Trading PLC
- Mr. Shigekazu Yamawaki, Heleph Coffee (Ethiopia) in Asia and Oceania, Heleph Coffee Exporter / Promotion video
- Mr. Fitsum Bekere Ligdi, National Technical Advisor, UNIDO
- Mr. Tadesse Segni, Advisor, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
UNIDO Tokyo Office (PIC: Ms. Imazu)