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December 10, 2015

JICA Zambia Hosts Successful Media Breakfast
Article by Ms Njaame Kalililo-Mwila and Mr Kazuki Kaiya

It is not every day that the Zambian newspapers, radio and television channels are simultaneously graced with news about JICA and its support to various developmental activities. But Thursday morning on 10th December 2015 was a joyous and informative day for the Embassy of Japan, JICA and the Zambian journalists; as this day marked an interactive media breakfast under the theme: ‘JICA's Approach for Economic Development in Zambia'.

The media breakfast programme was characterized by three presentations on the Kaizen project, Business potential in Zambia and the Lusaka Water improvement project; and a project tour to Chilenje first level hospital. The delegation was treated to a rare occasion of freely interacting with the Ambassador for the Embassy of Japan in Zambia, His Excellency Mr Kiyoshi Koinuma and the Country Resident Representative for JICA Zambia, Mr Hisanao Noda. In His speech, Mr Koinuma reassured the Zambian community of continued Japanese collaboration with Zambia. He stated that key support sectors Japan has prioritized in Zambia are Energy, Agriculture, Education, Manufacturing and Health care. In view of this, a US$2.5million grant aid is expected to be signed by the end of 2015 aiming at scaling up the number of school teachers in Zambia. In addition to this, Mr Koinuma also stated that Japan is ready to help Zambia overcome the energy deficit challenges by investing in research to establish best sources of energy available to Zambia.

And Mr Noda, the Country Resident Representative for JICA Zambia highlighted continued successful financial and technical assistance to Zambia. With the successful completion of Chirundu bridge rehabilitation this year and an on-going project to capacity build RDA on bridge maintenance coupled with the anticipated successful completion of upgrading Chilenje and Matero health centers from clinic status to first level hospitals; Mr Noda noted JICA's willingness to continue with the currently existing cordial relations between Zambia and JICA which is one of the world's largest bilateral agencies.

During presentations, Mr Mwitwa, the interim CEO for Kaizen institute emphasized the need to put into practice the Japanese Kaizen mechanisms that aim at improving quality control and cost management for enhanced productivity. He also pointed out that Kaizen can also be used by the government of Zambia as a national tool for the attainment of at least eight of the ‘pillars of smart Zambia' advocated by His Excellency President Edgar Lungu. Therefore, the Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Standardize), Shitsuke (Sustain) Kaizen (5S) approach should not be viewed as a mechanism to be implemented just at grass root level but also at national level for increased cost efficiency, quality enhancement and ultimately increased productivity that provides accrued benefits for improved national GDP.

Mr Sawamura, a JICA Senior volunteer, brought in the business aspect by showing that there is potential for Zambian businesses to grow and export to developed countries. He however, noted that there is need for skills development to enhance product quality and understanding of international marketing operations.

The last presentation was offered by Mr Fujii from Nippon Koei, who enlightened the media breakfast meeting with information about the feasibility study for Lusaka Water Improvement project. According to Mr Fujii, studies indicate that by 2025 water demand will be much higher than water supply by approximately 568,000m3/day. Therefore, now is the time to implement water projects aimed at reducing the anticipated water shortages now and in the near future.

To wrap-up the media breakfast, the delegation was taken for a tour of Chilenje health center which is being upgraded from clinic status to first level hospital. It was a morning packed with great breakfast, informative interaction and a good site tour of the Chilenje clinic upgrade project!

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PhotoPictures from 1-4 respectively: His Excellency Mr Koinuma officially opens the media breakfast, Mr Kaiya with journalists at Chilenje clinic project tour, Mr Noda invites the Ambassador to officially open the media breakfast & below guests listen to presentations at media breakfast.

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