Keynotes from the General Director

A pilot project conducted on 30 companies proved the transferability of kaizen to Ethiopia. Kaizen has been found suitable to the economic and social development policy and strategy that the government peruses. The first in the priority list of industrial development is micro and small enterprises which is expected to grow and expand in number, capital, employment and creation of national wealth and lay foundation for nurturing future private industrialists. This is true because kaizen is a philosophy which is emanated from small and medium enterprises of Japan. It could also play major role in transforming the medium and large industries.

The initial productivity courses of Toyota (TPS), the quality control Circles(QCCs) experience promoted by Japan Union of Engineers and Scientists (JUSE), the problem solving steps and techniques as well as the systems and procedures of kaizen phi¬losophy such as Toyota Production system (TPS), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), suggestion systems, Total Quality Management (TQM) have relevance to the Ethiopian situation in many ways.

which we could assemble all knowledge and tools of change management and leadership since the core principles of kaizen is participation, continuous improvement and statistical based problem solving which could further enrich other change management tools that we have installed particularly in public services .

Ethiopian KAIZEN Institute is established as a center of excellence to trans¬fer, disseminate and customize KAIZEN. In the short term, EKI will focus on transferring kaizen from the origin without omission through the assistance of JICA and self learning and practicing. This shall be followed by dissemination and customization of the philosophy to the reality of Ethiopia. In the long term, Ethiopia kaizen shall be developed based on the experience gained thereupon.

Kaizen and BPR are said to be different in the scale of change they could bring about. However they have a common characteristic since both are process oriented. Although kaizen is said to be incremental change as compared to radical change of BPR. In reality, however, there are evidences which shows kaizen had brought drastic changes in the early development stage of Japan. For instance, when Toyota productivity was one tenth of USA and Toyota planned to fill this gap within three years time, they did it with kaizen.

At one Japanese electronics company, the semi conductor laser developed for use in compact disc player cost Yen 500,000 in 1978. In 1980, it was down to Yen 50,000 and by the fall of 1981, it had been reduced to Yen 10,000. In 1982 when the first compact disc players were put on the market, the semi conductor laser cost only 5,000. Within four years time the product was 100 times lower in cost. Many such examples could be cited from the Japanese experience written by Japanese scholars and practitioners.

William Manly explained the Japanese secrete behind their achievement in kaizen I thought they had two major religions in Japan. Buddhism and shintoism. Now I found they have a third: kaizen.
We Ethiopians have two major religions Christianity and Islam. Let us make kaizen our common belief and commit ourselves to realize our vision set by our government.

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