Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen has today inaugurated a new state-of-the-art training and research center on Kaizen built in Addis Ababa with a 27.5 million USD grant from the Government of Japan.
The center will serve as a hub for African industrial human resource development, and it is expected to spread from Ethiopia throughout Africa.
The center will also provide trainings to employees of manufacturing companies, civil servants, vocational school teachers and Kaizen consultants from the Ethiopian Kaizen Institute on Kaizen methodology.
Kaizen focuses on continuous improvement, increasing productivity, enhancing quality and boosting competitiveness.
At the inauguration ceremony, JICA Senior Vice President Sachiko Imoto said the center will allow Kaizen consultants to provide lectures and hands-on Kaizen training to private sector employees.
She noted Kaizen could be a solution for improving productivity at manufacturing sites planned under Ethiopia's 'Let Ethiopia Produce' national movement.
Imoto added that the center will be a hub for industrial human resource development in Ethiopia and across Africa. It will be a key venue for jointly promoting Kaizen on the continent.
The Kaizen Project is one of JICA's flagship projects in Ethiopia. The center is expected to train thousands of individuals annually and will play a major role in helping the Ministry of Industry achieve its goals.
While inaugurating the state of the art facility, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen said the establishment of this center is one of the many expressions of friendship and longstanding cordial bilateral relationship between Ethiopia and Japan.
“We are glad that Ethiopia is becoming the Kaizen excellent center that serves the whole of Africa,” he said, adding Kaizen is embraced in Ethiopian governance system through programs launched in 2009.
We have been observing encouraging success stories in enterprises, which are utilizing Kaizen tools, he said. It is time to scaling up the experience to realize our development agenda, he added.
Minister of Industry, Melaku Alebel, said the KAIZEN excellence center represents a significant step forward in our journey towards continues improvement and growth.
“It is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our government, in collaboration with the people and government of Japan to invest in the future of our workforce and industries.”
The government of Japan, through JICA, has been resiliently capacitating our KAIZEN excellence center since 2009, the minister said.
KAIZEN has had a great impact on Ethiopia’s manufacturing industry. KAIZEN was being adapted by Ethiopians, he stated.
“We are aware that our industries have been benefiting from the KAIZEN disseminations. The improvement of quality has been improved from 5-46 percent, productivity 15-39 percent and generally speaking from improvement activities, production waste reduction and elimination efforts above five billion birr in monetary value have been registered.”
The Government of Ethiopia has adopted policies to use KAIZEN to further develop the manufacturing and services sectors, as well as hospitals and schools.
Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia, ITO Takako, on her part said the center will serve as a hub for African industrial human resource development, and it is expected to spread from Ethiopia throughout Africa.
The Nairobi Declaration of TICAD 6 in 2018 pledged to increase the productivity in Africa by 30 percent through the expansion of the Kaizen Initiative throughout Africa as human infrastructure development is one of the priority areas of cooperation between Japan and Africa.
It is to be recalled that on September 30, 2019, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the construction of the TICAD Human Resource Development Center for Business and Industry (TICAD-HRD) the fund covered through Grant Aid from the Government of Japan.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency