Japan pushes CI into Africa

The Japanese government, via the JPC (Japan Productivity Centre) is helping African companies on their productivity journey by adopting Kaizen (aka CI – Continuous Improvement) and lean management techniques

At first, they selected three Model Companies in Africa – Japanese experts trained their middle managers and supervisors – then productivity improvements were sought

The results were presented at a seminar organised by the JPC and the NPCC (National Productivity and Competitiveness Council) in Mauritius

They were dramatic:

  • One company reduced customer waiting time by 56% and productivity improved by 40% – an enhanced layout was involved
  • Another reduced rework saving Rs 300,000 per month – space was also optimised in one department

Yoshiharu Kato, Japan ambassador, said: “In Japan and across the world, employers are adopting Kaizen by building a culture where all employees are actively engaged in suggesting and implementing improvements to the company”

He continued: “While other companies seem to appear sluggish in their operations, implementing Kaizen can somehow revitalise ones’s operations because of the company-wide involvement of employees towards continuous improvement

N.B. The first conference for the promotion of productivity in Africa was organised back in 2006 by the APO (Asian Productivity Organisation) under the aegis of PAPA (Pan African Productivity Association) who, it must be said, kindly applauded our book ‘Productivity Knowhow’

Ever since, APO, PAPA and the JPC have been working together on a Productivity Partnership Programme focussed on the sharing of productivity improvement experiences



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