JICA signs $27 million deal with Ethiopia for construction of TICAD Human Resource Development Center for Business and Industry
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a grant agreement with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa to provide grant aid of up to 2.931 billion yen, approximately $27 million, for the Construction of TICAD Human Resource Development Center for Business and Industry.
The project will provide training facilities and procure equipment for training human resources to extend kaizen, a Japanese philosophy and technique for improving quality and productivity, as a part of the Ethiopian Kaizen Institute (EKI) facilities.
The Government of Ethiopia is revitalizing its manufacturing industry, particularly light industry, to shift from the traditional agricultural-based economy to an economic structure centered on industry in order to strengthen industrial competitiveness.
One of the measures toward that goal has been to introduce, starting in 2009, the kaizen methodology that brought successful factory development to the manufacturing industry of Japan. In 2011, EKI was established as an agency of the central government of Ethiopia, and there has been a focus on human resource training for extending kaizen and putting it into practice.
Through projects such as the Project on Capacity Development for KAIZEN Implementation for Quality and Productivity Improvement and Competitiveness Enhancement, technical cooperation, JICA has provided cooperation to strengthen the organizational system and kaizen leadership capacity at EKI.
On the basis of this cooperation, EKI has provided training and carried out other measures to introduce kaizen to private companies in Ethiopia. The Government of Ethiopia aims to make EKI a representative kaizen agency for Africa, and is greatly increasing the staff and otherwise strengthening the functions of EKI.
However, the existing EKI facilities do not have the space or equipment for a training facility, and therefore training must currently be held off premises. Because EKI instructors must visit the organizations and companies where the training is provided, target locations are limited to Addis Ababa and nearby areas, greatly hindering the extension of kaizen throughout the country.
Therefore, providing equipment and lodging facilities where training can be provided to human resources in other regions is a priority.
The project will provide a building for training, management and administration, and a building for lodging, and procure training equipment. This will make it possible for EKI to increase the current number of annual kaizen trainees by more than 1.7 times to more than 50,000 people.
The project is a specific example of a “TICAD industrial human resource development center” that the Government of Japan announced would be set up at the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) in 2013, and will contribute to the training of “30,000 industrial human resources in Africa” and to “increasing productivity by 30 percent through the Kaizen Initiative,” pledges made by the Government of Japan at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI).