The Tanzania 5th KAIZEN Award Competition and Ceremony was held in Dar es Salaam from February 4 to 5, 2021. Since 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been implementing the Project on Strengthening Manufacturing Enterprises through Quality and Productivity Improvement (KAI¬ZEN) in order to promote industrialization of Tanzania. The Award Competition and Ceremony was held as one of the activities of this project.
13 companies were nominated from the regional competitions, and in the finals, 2 companies were selected: one company was chosen from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) category and the other from the large companies category. Those 2 companies were awarded as “Outstanding Company” through that competition.
The selected outstanding companies will be given an opportunity to represent Tanzania in the coming competition of Africa KAIZEN Award 2021 during the Africa KAIZEN Annual Conference 2021 (AKAC 2021) which will be held jointly by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), MIT, and JICA in coming August 2021 in Dar es Salaam. It is expected that the selected Tanzanian companies will present their KAI¬ZEN activities and achievements to representatives from other African countries at AKAC 2021, and thereby diffuse their best practices to the whole of the African continent. We give here below brief explanations about the two selected companies:
Cultural Crafts Consultant & Design Co. Ltd (CRA¬CODE) – outstanding company representing SMEs
Since its inception in 2007, the company has been manufacturing hand-made cotton items such as cloths, carpets, bags etc. These items are for use by individuals (including tourists), government, hotels, and private institutions. It has started to implement KAI¬ZEN in their activities since June 2019.
Previously, they faced some challenges such as insufficient productivity level due to poor working environment. There were no meeting room, no changing room, etc. This situation made it difficult for workers to timely search for materials and necessary working tools. Moreover, this situation caused huge risks to all the workers and the company. In fact, a number of safety incidents occurred at an average of at least once every month.
Based on this situation, the company decided to introduce the KAIZEN approach to rectify the problems. Through KAIZEN, the company was able to adopt the 5S activities. The result? Working environment was tremendously improved. Walking passages were demarcated, machines were put in proper places, and searching time for items was largely reduced. All these measures resulted in the increase by 10% of the monthly production volume.
Currently, the company is trying to create Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) to increase efficiency of production process and to improve stability of product quality. They have a vision to develop new markets through further improvement of productivity and quality based on continuous KAIZEN activities.
KIOO Ltd. – Outstanding Company representing large enterprises
KIOO Limited is the largest company in East Africa which manufactures glass bottles. Its products are for both domes-tic use and for export to other countries in East Africa such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, etc. The company has started implement KAIZEN activity since June 2018.
At the beginning, they analyzed the current situation in order to identify and prioritize the most important three issues, namely, (1) productivity improvement of wooden pallet, (2) waste reduction of paper tray, and (3) decrease defects of products. Based on the analysis, three KAIZEN teams were organized in the company as Task Forces to address those issues.
Each KAIZEN team identified/prioritized the cause of the concerned issue using both numerical data and problem-solving method. As a result, the company has increased productivity of the pallet by 50%, decreased waste by 10%, and minimized defects by 24%. Each improvement provides positive impacts for financial condition of the company (e.g. sales, profit, cash flow) as well.
The company is planning to continue the above activities with other countermeasures because it aims to achieve further improvements for those issues. Simultaneously, the company is looking for other possibilities to implement KAIZEN activities, and planning to share KAIZEN philosophies to their stakeholders. The company would be a leading company of KAIZEN in Tanzania.
About JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)
An incorporated administrative agency in charge of administering Japan’s ODA (Official Development Assistance). It is one of the world’s largest bilateral aid agency supporting socioeconomic development in developing countries in different regions of the world.
In Tanzania, JICA has been a long partner of Tanzania for more than 50 years in many sectors since 1962.
Africa Kaizen Annual Conference (AKAC) and Background
AKAC is the largest international event for KAIZEN in Africa, which is composed of conference and competition of KAIZEN activity (i.e. Africa KAIZEN Award). It has been organized annually since 2016 by African Union Development Agency - New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and JICA.
AKAC 2020 was held in South Africa last September, and AKAC 2021 is planned to be hosted by the Government of Tanzania and held in Dar es Salaam in the end of August. Companies from 16 African countries, incl. Tanzania, will be participating as representatives of each country, and “Outstanding Company in Africa” will be selected through the Africa Kaizen Award competition in AKAC.
Since the late 2000s, JICA has started several projects for private sector development in Africa introducing “KAIZEN”. Private sector development is one of the key factors for industrialization, and creation of employment and decent work. For further development of KAIZEN activities in the African continent, JICA and AUDA-NEPAD jointly organized “Africa Kaizen Initiative” (AKI), and AKAC is one of the core activities of AKI. AKI tries to implement KAIZEN for more than 18,000 enterprises and over 280,000 people in 25 African countries in the future.