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The world first "Kaizen Doctor" program starts!

"Kaizen"[1] is the common word in Ethiopia and "Meskerem" - Month of September was declared by the late Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn as the "Kaizen Month" since 2014. The Kaizen movement has gained extraordinary acceptance in Ethiopia above any other country in Africa. With the full commitment of the Ethiopian Government, Kaizen philosophy is being implemented across the country in multiple sectors.

Mekelle University opened the world first Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Kaizen Management (Quality and Productivity Management) in collaboration with Ethiopian Kaizen Institute (EKI). Besides, the Kaizen (Quality and Productivity Improvement) Master's program (MSc) has been implementing from 2014.

The Kaizen doctoral program is a three years program. JICA will support this program through dispatching one visiting professor, Professor Hiroshi Osada, Emeritus Professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology to sustain the way to achieving Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness. In this year, Professor Osada will give intensive lecture on Advanced Total Quality Management (TQM) and Innovation Management for two weeks.

On Monday, October 15, 2018, the PhD program officially opened with the presence of Mr. Ken Yamada, JICA Chief Representative in Ethiopia, Mr. Mekonnen Yaie, Director General of EKI, Mr. Seiji Sugimoto, Chief Advisor of JICA expert team, besides Professor Osada and Associate Professor Fasil Tadesse, Ethiopian Institute of Technology (EiT) – Mekelle University and four EKI PhD candidates who successfully passed the examination for the program.

At the opening ceremony led by Mr. Mekonnen, first Mr. Yamada gave remarks that the PhD Program in Kaizen Management is the first one in the world and JICA expects EKI to be the Center of Excellence (CoE) that leads the other African countries in disseminating kaizen philosophy and technologies with "Dr. Kaizen" to be borne. Professor Osada also forwarded the message that the doctoral program was not "Learning" but "Research and Development", which is quite different from MSc course and the research achievement in the PhD program should contribute to the society, such as companies, industries, public sectors and of course, EKI.

The PhD students also outline their aspirations at the ceremony as follows: "This opportunity will give me to have both the academic and practical experience to contribute to the industry and society development in my country", and "I'd like to be a skilled researcher in order to contribute to the industrial world and society."

PhotoMr. Ken Yamada while delivering message

PhotoProfessor Osada while delivering message

PhotoFrom left to right: Mr. Seiji Sugimoto, Chief Advisor JICA expert team, Mr. Haftu Hailu, EKI PhD student, Mr. Biruk Wubishet, EKI PhD student, Mr. Ken Yamada, Chief Representative, JICA, Mr. Mekonnen Yaie, EKI Director General, Professor Hiroshi Osada, Visiting Professor, Associate Professor Fasil Tadesse, Mekelle University, Mr. Asnake Gudisa, EKI PhD student from EKI, Mr. Tujuba Regasa, EKI PhD student.


  • [1] "Kaizen" is a management philosophy and know-how that brings about continuous improvement of quality and productivity, originated in Japan.


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