Africa seeks CI benefits – the West ignores them!

We have already reported that the Japanese government via their METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and the JPC (Japanese Productivity Centre) are helping African companies with productivity improvement by adopting Kaizen, aka CI (Continuous Improvement)

Now we find they’re collaborating with the Nigeria NPC (National Productivity Centre) to improve productivity in that country’s manufacturing sector with the aim of ‘boosting economic development and standard of living’

The NPC Director-General, Dr Kashim Akor, said: “The ultimate goal of productivity improvement as a driving force of economic development is to enhance the quality of life through creativity, innovation, wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction’

“The Centre has the mandate of promoting organisational excellence and practices that will enhance productivity and competitiveness”

To do this, they need to implement sustainable and results-oriented programmes that will promote all factors of production to generate visible improvement in quantity and quality of goods and services

Mr Yasuhiro Hashimoto, Head of Economic and Commercial Section, Embassy of Japan, said: “Kaizen aims at establishing a permanent process of eliminating unnecessary actions and maximising the use of existing human and non-human resources inside an organisation”

“Kaizen is neither a panacea nor a magic concept but rather a dynamic concept that has the characteristics of evolving to near perfection when consciously and consistently applied – and it can be applied to any sector”

He concluded: “There is no country or organisation where KAIZEN has failed to improve quality and productivity when properly applied”


  1. We agree with Yasuhiro – Kaizen is business common sense but, sadly, that’s not so common
  2. Kaizen is essentially a practical and effective way to enhance ’employee engagement’ and cumulatively generate big improvements
  3. How interesting then that Africa is now jumping on the CI bandwagon when most organisations in the West have been ignoring it for nearly 40 years, preferring to fail repeatedly with culture and/ or major system change initiatives instead


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