Ghanaian businesses participate in JICA’s Kaizen Awards in Tunisia

Two Ghanaian businesses, Nallem Clothing and Uni-Jay clothing company limited have participated in the African Kaizen Annual Conference held in Tunis, Tunisia from the June 24 to 26 this year.

The conference organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency hosted over 190 participants from 17 African Countries including Ghana.

According to a statement from JICA to the Ghana News Agency, a key highlight to this year’s conference was the first ever-organised “African Kaizen Awards” ceremony.

The ceremony allowed business representatives from Africa to compete based on the adoption of the Japanese productivity model, “Kaizen” in their work operations and its impact on the growth of their companies, the statement said.

The conference dubbed “Continuous Improvements in the Changing Society” gave the opportunity for networking among stakeholders and participants of Kaizen across the world, the statement said.

It also made participants convey information to African leaders on how they should strategize and sustain Kaizen during and after the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VII slated for August 2019.

Participants of the conference included key interlocutors from government, private sectors, academia and development partners in Africa and beyond.

Since the late 2000s, Kaizen had been promoted in several countries in Africa for quality and productivity improvements with technical support from JICA, the statement noted.

It said, the achievements of Kaizen had attracted the interest of an increasing number of African governments in raising quality and productivity, improving standards and ensuring the competitiveness of African firms in the global market.

For Ghana, the statement said, feedback from participants and JICA Ghana office emphasised on the need for Kaizen to be envisioned as a multi-sectoral tool to align with the Ghana beyond Aid agenda.

“If Kaizen can be expanded to other sectors of Ghana’s development, it would be a catalyst for exponential change in the mindset and attitudes to development,” the statement said.

According to the statement, Ms Nana Adwoa Owusu-Achaw, JICA programme staff for Industry, emphasizing on two main strategies from the conference, said there was the need for institutionalization of Kaizen in the public sector.