March 21, 2016
Accra. 21st March, 2016. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) launched the National Kaizen Project in October, 2015 at the Accra International Conference Centre.
This was as a result of the successes chalked during the pilot phase in the Ashanti Region where over 36 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have upgraded their management production, and improved quality and productivity.
According to the Senior Representative of JICA, Mr. Norihito Yonebayashi; "The National KAIZEN Project is a three-year Project aimed at developing the capacity of NBSSI to provide Business Development Services (BDS) including KAIZEN methodology as one of the BDS to the MSMEs in Ghana. KAIZEN is the key for maintaining international competitiveness as KAIZEN possibly enables making innovation happen".
In all, 46 Business Advisory Centre (BAC) Heads in the four target regions; Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Central will undergo intensive training in the KAIZEN Methodology.
The first advanced KAIZEN training has just successfully finished in Kumasi-Ashanti Region to build the capacity of the BAC Heads who were taken through the basic KAIZEN during the first phase of the Project. The training comprised a week-long lecture and four weeks of On the Job Training at the MSMEs. As a result of introduction of KAIZEN tools to support product packaging at the syrup section of one of the selected MSMEs, the productivity of syrup production per worker has been increased by 20%. The introduction of the production control board in one of the enterprises enabled all the workers to know the delivery schedule of law material and finished products. This enhances their efficiency to produce at the right time to meet the needs of customers. Another example is the elimination of wastes in one of the enterprises which resulted in increased efficiency of workers in the manufacturing of products.
For easy implementation of the Project activities, each target region will be focused on in a particular year; 2016 will be dedicated to the Northern Region, 2017 for Brong Ahafo and 2018 for Central Region. The 10 pilot BAC Heads and 6 enterprises were selected for basic KAIZEN training in Northern Region. Preparation for implementation is in progress.
It is expected that through the National Kaizen Project, a total of one hundred and ninety MSMEs will benefit from the Project in the three regions, and the competiveness of the MSMEs in the four regions will be enhanced to enable them compete internationally. It is also expected that the capacity of the MSMEs can be further enhanced to enable them contribute towards stimulating of growth in the national economy.
Also, the 1st KAIZEN Knowledge Sharing Seminar will be held on 23rd and 24th of this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under JICA's assistance. Seven African countries, including Ghana, who are implementing KAIZEN projects will be participating in the seminar. Participants from Ghana will share our knowledge and experience and obtain useful information from KAIZEN projects in other countries. I hope the seminar will be a good opportunity for both Ghana and other participating countries to disseminate KAIZEN to the whole of African continent.
National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) is the apex government body for promotion and development of the Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) sector in Ghana. It was established in 1985 by Act 434 of 1981. It is one of the key agencies of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI). It operates in ten (10) Regional Secretariats in one hundred and seventy (170) Business Advisory Centres (BACs) in Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.