The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Hisanabu Mochizuki, has urged the government to consider integrating the Kaizen Concept into its flagship programmes to ensure efficiency.
The Kaizen methodology or concept is a Japanese business model that is deployed by businesses to obtain competitive advantage, and to raise overall business performance.
It is mainly dedicated to improving productivity, ensuring efficiency and quality in general as well as reducing waste in the course of production.
Mr Mochizuki explained that the adoption of the Kaizen method would help the country achieve sustained and continuous improvement in its development agenda.
“While we encourage Ghana to adopt the Kaizen ideas in its work culture, it is also important to ask the differences in Kaizen styles.
In this regard, Ghana must look more broadly at how it integrates Kaizen to suit its local needs and conditions,” he emphasised.
The Ambassador made the call in Accra yesterday during the signing ceremony for “The project for expanding the Kaizen initiative through enhancing sustainable agribusiness”.
The agreement signed between the government of Japan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the implementing agency, would be executed over the next three years.
The project was estimated at $3.4million and would be mainly in support of agribusiness.
Mr Mochizuki said, “Ghana has to look at how the Kaizen philosophy can help propel the government’s flagship programme of Ghana Beyond Aid and other initiatives such as NABCO, One District One Factory and Planting for Food and Jobs”.
He said the agreement affirmed his country’s commitment to promote Kaizen and accelerate industrialisation and trade in Africa.
Mr Mochizuki said the African Kaizen Initiative, which entailed the African Kaizen Annual Conference and African Kaizen Awards, was launched during the Tokyo International Conference on Development (TICAD) VI.
He said the Kaizen ideas had been internalised in Japanese work culture and this had led to a massive boost in several businesses in the country.
“I am pleased that just like the rest of the world, Ghana is willing to learn from the best practices of what the Kaizen initiative has to offer to enhance the capacity of Micro, Small and Medium Scale (MSMEs) and agri-business enterprises,” he said.
On his part, the UNIDO representative for Ghana and Liberia, Mr Fakhruddin Azizi, said the project would support MSMEs in their productivity and performance to make them more competitive.
He noted that Kaizen was the right methodology, philosophy and mentality that could help Ghanaian enterprises become sustainable and resilient.
“The project is committed to enhancing the capacity of Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and will also be reaching out to hundreds of Ghanaian MSMES to introduce Kaizen in their production site,” he emphasised.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL