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TANAKA Akihiko

February 26, 2013

JICA President Akihiko Tanaka Visits South Africa

Continuing his trip from Mozambique, JICA President Akihiko Tanaka arrived in South Africa in the evening of February 25. South Africa is the fifth country in his Sub-Saharan African trip.

Tanaka exchanged opinions with Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education; Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training; and Lulu Xingwana, Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. Tanaka also visited a project at the Tshwane University of Technology and held a seminar in Johannesburg for Japanese businesses. The main points covered on this visit are as follows:

1) In his talks with the Minister of Basic Education, he noted that Japanese expertise in science and mathematics education are applicable to issues that South Africa is facing, and mentioned to further promote on-going cooperation.

2) Discussion with the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Tanaka focused on the capacity development of workers for industry in South Africa. In the discussion, both agreed that cooperation should be developed by utilizing Japan's experience, human resources should become available to meet the needs of industry, and cooperation work should be carried out to lower the unemployment rate and provide exchanges of people who will lead the next generations of the country.

PhotoIn the photo at left, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande (left) and JICA President Akihito Tanaka shake hands. In the photos in center and at right, Tanaka tours the Tshwane University of Technology.

3) At the Tshwane University of Technology, Tanaka visited a project site where trainees get practical training using vehicle models and learn Japanese "Kaizen[1]" and "5S[2]" concepts that have supported the development of manufacturing industry in Japan. In the discussion with representatives from Higher Education and Training and the university, Tanaka said that the training focused on proactive changes and/or proposals at factory level will be a trigger for advancing human resource development for industry.

PhotoMinister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana (left) shakes hands with Tanaka.

4) In the seminar held for Japanese businesses regarding South Africa as a base for their business activities in Africa, Tanaka delivered a presentation on JICA's cooperation strategies for each region of Africa given that TICAD V (the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development)[3] will soon be held. During the discussion session, some participants shared the difficulties facing in their activities in Africa, and some expressed their expectations for JICA's contribution.

5) Discussion with the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Tanaka emphasized the importance of cooperation activities for persons with disabilities and women for "Inclusive Development" that is also being promoted at TICAD V. Tanaka mentioned that JICA would explore possibilities of cooperation on both fronts as well.

On February 26, Tanaka held talks with Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa's Development)[4], on inclusive and sustainable development in Africa toward TICAD V. Tanaka also exchanged opinions, with Chairman Jabu Moleketi and CEO Patrick Dlamini of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), on capacity development for development finance institutions that will lead the next generations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and on how cooperation should be extended for economic corridor development in the region.


  • [1] Kaizen, or continuous improvement, refers to bottom-up activities aimed at enhancing productivity at Japanese enterprises. It has become an internationally recognized concept.
  • [2] 5S is literally five abbreviation of Japanese terms with 5 initials of S.
    These are (i)Seiri, (ii)Seiton, (iii) Seiso, (iv)Seiketsu, and (v) Shitsuke.
    These are explained briefly below.
    (i) Sort: Remove unused stuff from your venue of work; and reduce clutter (Removal organization)
    (ii) Set: Organize everything needed in proper order for easy operation (orderliness)
    (iii) Shine: Maintain high standard of cleanness (Cleanness)
    (iv) Standardize: Set up the above three Ss as norms in every section of your place (Standardize)
    (v) Sustain: Train and maintain discipline of the personnel engaged (Discipline)
  • [3] TICAD stands for Tokyo International Conference on African Development, an international forum on development in Africa. Since 1993, the Government of Japan has played a leadership role, collaboratively hosting TICAD with the United Nations, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and other organizations. The fifth TICA D conference is scheduled to be held in Yokohama in June 2013.
  • [4] The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), an African Union strategic framework for pan-African socio-economic development, is both a vision and a policy framework for Africa in the twenty-first century.


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