June 29, 2014
Deputy Premier, H.E. Mr. Demeke Mekonnen at the center handing out Gold medal to Mr. Reshed Musa, outstanding individual performer from Matahara Sugar Factory
The third successive year national KAIZEN award ceremony was held on June 29, 2014 to recognize outstanding KAIZEN performers. Ethiopia is perhaps the only country in the Sub-Saharan African region to do so.
The current award differs from the previous two awards in terms of the diversity of the award types and the focus that high Government official gave to the ceremony.
The presence of the Deputy Prime Minster, H.E. Mr. Demeke Mekonnen, Honorable Mr. Brehanu Mekuye, Chair of the Standing Industry Institutes committee, and H.E. Mr. Ahmed Abetew, Minister of Ministry of Industry elevated the awarding ceremony and showed the commitment of the Government in continuing KAIZEN implementation.
During the occasion, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed the need for ensuring quality and improving productivity, and how KAIZEN is important for the country's ambition to realize industrialization. The Deputy Premier further indicated that "companies without firm base in quality and productivity can rarely survive in international market, and KAIZEN is a scientific tool that the Ethiopian Government has adopted to ensure the country's transformation to industrialization." He also conveyed his thankful message to the Government of Japan for the continuous support, and handed out an acknowledging certificate for the support to JICA.
During the ceremony four categories of prize were announced. The four categories were: (1). Human resource development institutes, (2). Import substitution companies, (3) Exporters companies, and (4). Construction sector. Under each category three sub-categories were identified-individuals, KAIZEN Promotion Teams (KPTs) or QCC and institutions-for recognition. Gold, Silver and Bronze level awards were given to all sub-categories in each four categories.
Twelve companies were recognized in the four categories mentioned above, and in a rough measure the companies reduced default rate by 57% and increased productivity by 50%. In monetary terms the overall benefit that the companies gained gauged to be 0.34 billion Ethiopian Birr (approximately 17 million US dollars).
The awards under the category of "human resource development institutes", such as technical and vocational colleges were given to three technical and vocational colleges, and to three KPTs and individuals under each college for the outstanding performance. It was indicated that these colleges on average increased their qualified graduates from what it was 40% to 80% applying KAIZEN philosophy in their teaching process.
The second kind of acknowledgement was meant to recognize best KAIZEN performing import substitution companies. Two public owned sugar factories and one pharmaceutical company, three KPTs and three individual were awarded in this category.
The third category of award was meant to recognize outstanding KAIZEN implement manufacturing exporter companies. In the event it was indicated that these companies able to meet buyers' quality standard applying KAIZEN, increased their volume of export significantly and got new buyers, as well.
In last category of award, organizations in the construction sector were recognized for the achievement that they have made through cutting backlogs in standard house construction timing from 36 months to 12 months with improved quality.