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January 6, 2017

ABE Initiative Intern from Ethiopia Aims to Act as a Bridge Between Japan and His Country

photoAbebe Mola Bogale listens to an explanation of the improvements being made in a factory through kaizen
photoAbebe Mola Bogale with the employees of Ogura Jewel Industry Co., Ltd., on the last day of his internship

The African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative) aims to train African human resources who will learn Japanese-style business directly to contribute to economic development of Africa.JICA is on track to achieve its goal of accepting 900 international students in five years (this program began in 2014) into master's degree courses and internships.

Abebe Mola Bogale from Ethiopia had a five-day internship at Ogura Jewel Industry Co., Ltd., beginning on Sept. 15. Ogura Jewel Industry specializes in precise, detailed manufacturing that includes the hardest diamonds in the natural world.

In Ethiopia, Mr. Bogale works for the Ministry of Science and Technology as a Metal and Engineering Technology Transfer and Development Expert, and currently he is doing research to improve design and productivity as a system engineer at Shibaura Institute of Technology. The reason he chose that company for his internship was to see in action kaizen to improve productivity. This is related to his research theme.

Masashi Fukuzawa, a director and plant manager, explained the reason he accepted Mr. Bogale as an intern:
"Our company president strongly wanted to participate because Africa has been a source of diamonds for a long time, so we also want to act as a bridge between Africa and Japan."
"He is extremely diligent and very zealous in his thinking about kaizen,” he said of Mr. Bogale “He proposed his ideas for kaizen and was working seriously during the internship."
"There is also a possibility we will supply parts to Japanese companies that expand into Africa, and I want to deepen our interests in Africa," he added.

After he returns to his country, Mr. Bogale said, he wants to work hard to transfer the techniques and working culture he learned in Japan and "become a bridge linking Japan and Ethiopia to contribute to the development of African industry."

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