JICA to share best practices with African entrepreneurs at AFIF meet

13Feb 2017
Prosper Makene
The Guardian
JICA to share best practices with African entrepreneurs at AFIF meet

JAPANESE trainers will be part of this year’s Africa Finance and Investment Forum (AFIF) 2017 which is taking place in Nairobi, Kenya starting today till next Thursday.

Japan International Cooperation Agency and (JICA) has jointly organised the AFIF whose experts will undertake training for two days.

Two Tanzanian firms, Kimolo Super Rice which specialized in processing and marketing branded rice and sunflower oil and Eco Act which deals with urban waste management, plastic pollution, deforestation and climate change. The two firms are among finalists of AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017.

The AFIF entrepreneurship award 2017 is convened by European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC) and supported by the Rabobank Foundation of which 51 projects from around the continent, took part this year.

JICA will present a concept aimed at applying best practices of Japanese management excellence – the Kaizen method - in some pilot companies in Kenya.

Kaizen is the Japanese word for improvement and is defined as a method to advance all processes and systems in an enterprise. Keiko Sano, Chief Representative of JICA in Kenya said Kaizen has a big role to play on SMEs.

“Kaizen is one of JICA’s cooperation menus for private sector development that focuses on human resource development. It is Japan’s firm belief that human resource development is key to development,” Sano said.

She further said that JICA continues to support the human resource development among SMEs and private sector in Africa through Kaizen related projects in more than 30 countries across the world.

Idit Miller, EMRC Vice President and Managing Director said the Europeans are delighted to draw the Japanese management excellence closer to African entrepreneurs through partnership with JICA.

“EMRC aims to strengthen the private sector in Africa and we believe that the Kaizen method can have a big impact,” Miller noted.

This Pan-African meeting of SMEs managers, entrepreneurs, investors and government representatives will focus on entrepreneurship and innovation and access to finance in key sectors such as energy, water, health and agriculture.

Tanzanian entrepreneur, Raphael Group won AFIF Award last year which was also organized by Brussels based EMRC in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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